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Journal Journal: Two short stories about a stinkin Mac user

1: Due to a combination of illnesses and cutbacks, I'm doing some desktop support this week. After fixing the issues on a user's PC (network shares got lost, sound cable got yanked) I noticed that the font in her email client was many points larger than her desktop font. I asked her about it to verify that my guess was correct, then quickly clicked Display -> Settings -> Advanced -> Large Fonts. She was astonished, then effusively thankful.

No one else here would have given that a second glance (or even a first). Also, about half our LCDs (that I haven't adjusted) are set to some non-native default resolution. Oh well, at least fuzzy edges aren't as bad as the 60Hz headaches I used to get.

2: My officemate and I moved an old printer in between our desks. It doesn't happen to play nice with our departmental print manager, so I decided to add it directly by address. OS X was straightforward (Print & Fax -> Add button -> IP tab), but XP (virtual) was giving me grief. Finally I google the answer and burst out laughing. In order to connect to a network printer by IP, you go into the Add Printer Wizard, select "Local Printer" (instead of "Network Printer"), then go into the Printer Port Wizard and tell it that the printer's IP address is a local port. Well gee, that's obvious, isn't it? I explained this to my officemate, and he thought it was an interesting trick, but still didn't get why I was laughing.


Journal Journal: every Flash site you ever visited...

...may be recorded quietly on your hard drive, even if you had Flash erase all stored data. Everyone knows about Flash cookies and their largish abuse potential. But none of the sites I saw mentioned one little detail that's left behind, with no incriminating data signature to be detected in a file search.

When Flash removes its temp files and cookies for a site, it fails to remove the surrounding folder. And of course the folder's name is the site domain.

Look in your preferences directory for Macromedia/Flash Player/#SharedObjects and you will probably find a lot of unwanted history. You can safely delete the whole folder, but it's somewhat painful if there are one or two Flash-based sites whose persistence data you do want to retain.


Journal Journal: OpenOffice.org Impress...


sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks

Calc and Writer are usable MSO replacements. Impress is not. I am reinstalling PowerPoint tomorrow (unless I can find a recent version of Keynote somewhere in the office).


Journal Journal: /. Moderation Options v2.1

Pursuant to this comment, here is the complete list of mod options I wish we had:
  • +2, Informative And Has Links To Show It
  • +1, Interesting
  • +0, Funny
  • -0, YMBNH
  • -1, Offtopic/Troll
  • -1, False, And Followup Has Links To Show It

Remember that in Slashcode 2.0, users have the option to assign personal value modifiers to each moderation type.

Lastly, if you give a Mis/Informative mod which is voted down in Metamod, you lose 10x karma.


Journal Journal: Cheaper ways to play GameCube game on Wii? 3

I managed to score a Wii this fall, much to the delight of the little folk in my house. The boy is a Pokemon fan, so he got Battle Revolution for his birthday, but we soon discovered it's only arena fighting with no story.

I've learned that there are Pokemon CRPGs for GameCube. However, this Wii is our first and only electronic device from Nintendo. In order to play GC discs on Wii, we'd need native memory card and controllers, which are in the vicinity of $20 each according to Froogle. In other words, it would cost ~$90 total for a $30 game.

Are there reliable ways to play GC on Wii less expensive than what Google found? Swap meets? Third party brands? Secret landfill in Utah?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Cabinet Casting Call 3

My starting point for an Obama Administration Dream Team would be:

  1. early Bush appointees who resigned in protest over policy disagreements:
    • Colin Powell: State? Defense? Education? wherever he prefers
    • Christine Whitman: EPA, doing everything she announced in 2001 but was countermanded
    • Paul O'Neill: Treasury? Commerce? Interior?
    • who else did I miss?
  2. late Bush appointees who have widespread support:
    • Robert Gates: Defense
    • I'm sure there are others
  3. interesting outsiders of all stripes:
    • hmm... ran out of steam to finish this journal entry, help me out here

Journal Journal: Republicans, Mini DisplayPort, and Blu/DVD...

...have very little to do with each other, except that I'm thinking about all 3.

1: I sincerely hope that the Grand Ole Party will have a revolutionary war in 2009, such that either the social conservatives decisively push the fiscal conservatives out of leadership, or vice versa. Please end the unholy alliance, and realign the political landscape from left-right to big-small. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

2: Now that I've had time to think about it, Apple's Mini DisplayPort(tm) is proprietary evil, and another sign that Macs are at risk of return to beleaguered-ness by Lord Steve's growing arrogance. It's a foolish, petty decision that limits interoperability and makes Macs (with add-on adapters) Cost More(tm).

Hmm... no, that's stating it much too mildly. Damn you Steve, *MINI* DisplayPort is f&(#ing STUPID when *ORDINARY* DisplayPort is only a hair wider than USB!!! Shaving a few square millimeters of circuit board cannot justify the drawback of a port that DOES NOT CONNECT TO ANY CURRENTLY EXISTING (non-Apple) PRODUCTS.

3: Pursuant to my upcoming HDTV purchase, any recommendations for a good disc player around $200? Must play progressive DVD (including +/- R/W) and BluRay, optionally other formats like CD, VCD, MP*, etc.

The Matrix

Journal Journal: WTF? Big Brother is advertising on Google? 3

While reading a membership reminder email from EFF, which included a paragraph about their fight against warrantless wiretaps, I glanced up and noticed a truly bizarre advert:

Internet Wiretap - www.ipfabrics.com - Internet and VoIP intercept with IP Fabrics DeepSweep.

Why in the world does this company think that a general audience web advert is be a good way to reach their target market? Should I laugh, or shudder?


Journal Journal: How to buy an HDTV? 2

With the scary switchover fast approaching, L has expressed interest in replacing our 15yo tube. We are not big TV watchers, somewhere about halfway between typical well-educated suburbanites and annoying no-TV guy. We only buy limited basic cable, and mainly use the TV for DVDs and Wii (which I luckily scored on eBay).

My requirements:

  • 1080p - we plan to keep this set a long while, eventually need the rez
  • 40+" - so it provides as much SD visual area as our old 32"
  • decent contrast & speed - for DVDs & Wii respectively
  • well under $1k - we're not trying to build a stadium theater with popcorn holders

This one looks promising, but I wonder if I should just ignore it and wait for big sales later in the year. Perhaps Black Friday? Suggestions would be appreciated.

p.s. Just a funny thing I ran across while researching HDTV.


Journal Journal: Historical Guide to the Baroque Cycle?

After a few years of halted attempts, I am finally at the halfway point of Stephenson's trilogy and progressing steadily. I hope more will be revealed about the nature and plans of Enoch Root, but currently I'm more interested in the side characters and their real-world timelines. For example, Duc d'Arcachon. Did he really exist? When and how did he die? etc? So far both Google and Wikipedia have only pointed me to Stephenson-related pages.


Journal Journal: OK. Where do I get a Wii? 3

This is just silly. The system has been out for nearly TWO years and it's still out of stock everywhere. WTF?

Where can one buy (and actually receive within 2 weeks) a vanilla Wii, with no bundle (except possibly DDR & pads), for approximately MSRP?

Update: I scored one on Ebay. Bought local so I could pick up in person and inspect. All good.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal Journal: What Georgia should be saying right now 3

Dear Putin,
STFU bitch.

Not that it would matter, but still, it ought to be said, loudly.

Meanwhile, Putin must be thanking God for speaking to Bush 9 years ago. He has had so much freedom to oppress, thanks to the relative moral vacuum generated by us.


Journal Journal: Dear Democratic Leader (a slightly different survey) 1

Weird, I just received the 2006 Grassroots Survey of Democratic Leaders from Howard Dean, and it's formatted almost identically to the multiple redundant Republican surveys I've received, right down to the same dollar choices in the contribution checkboxes. BTW, I haven't heard from the Repugs in a while; perhaps they finally flagged me in the database. And they still haven't cashed the various $0.02 checks I sent them.

However, there is a HUGE difference in the tone of questions and answers. The Republican surveys generally sounded like this:

Do you support President Bush's plan to protect American freedom with surveillance cameras in your bedroom?
( ) Yes, I love America.
( ) No, I want the terrorists to win.

Whereas the Democratic survey has (gasp!) two or more plausible answers for each question, like this one (verbatim):

When decisions about Social Security's future are being made what do you think is most important?
( ) Keeping Social Security as a program with a guaranteed monthly benefit.
( ) Allowing younger workers to decide for themselves how their Social Security contributions are invested.
( ) Both guaranteed benefits and investments are important.

Of course, the answers are still confined to the single axis defined by the duopoly. My preferred policy (in this example, reduce the COLA and allow Social Security to gradually fade away) doesn't even cross their minds.

Eh. I guess that's why I'm not a real "Democratic Leader" (or a registered Democrat at all, for that matter). Maybe I'll send a $2 check or something; they're probably easier to buy than the GOP is.

United States

Journal Journal: Americans say: throw all the OTHER bums out! 3

Nearly 2/3rds of all US voters would like to see most members of Congress removed from office and replaced with new blood. Sounds like a strong national mandate for CHANGE , doesn't it?

Well, it might, except for the second question in the survey: Do you think YOUR OWN LOCAL members of Congress should get the axe? As you have already guessed, nearly as large a majority responded no. You see, their guys are the ONLY honest and good politicians in all of Washington.

Once again, the Onion remains a prophetic voice in the wilderness.

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