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User Journal

Journal Journal: Moving the easter Island statues.

I've got my own theory on how the Easter island statues were moved. I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere, so it must be impossible or stupid or something. but...

They made big stone discs. then on one they carved a hole in the center that would allow it to slide a few feet down over the top of the statue. the other carving had a cut-out of the feet, and they slid it a few feet over the bottom of the carving. probably after rolling the statue, on it's side, up a earthen or stone ramp that was narrower than the total height of the statue.

then all they had to do was leave it on it's side, and roll it wherever they wanted on it's two big stone wheels, reverse the process at the end, stand it up, done. the stone platforms some of the statues sit on have a ramp on them that would facilitate this.

would depend on the flexural strength of the stone they used; I don't remember anything except they were usually made of Tuff, so would have been unlikely to break if transported by this method. They could always have fabricated some wooden wheels in halves to clamp around the middle of the statues, I suppose. or stone ones in halves, come to think about it.

where do I collect the reward?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Removing Microsoft's leftovers

If you've installed a Microsoft operating system lately, Vista or newer, and then came to your senses and removed it (or, in the case of Windows 2008, looked for a better home for it) you will have noticed some leftovers from the installation; the most obvious of these is the new bootloader.

Here is how to make it go away.

User Journal

Journal Journal: IT Non-profit as a post-retirement career? 2

I'm bored.
I retired on disability back in 2002, spending the previous 20+ years as a WAN admin, Network Engineer, Security consultant, Unix SysAdmin, Computer retail store owner, Navy Electronics Tech, etc, etc.
While sitting around playing computer games and working on open source projects is fun, it is starting to get a little old.
I've been thinking fairly seriously about starting a not-for-profit business; recycling old computers for use by cash-strapped schools, libraries and low income families, doing "working with Linux" and other basic classes, maybe even helping the Tennessee vocational rehabilitation program by providing "hands on" experience and training to others on disability. The area I live in is relatively backwards technologically, and I think it could be a real asset to the area.
I'm fairly certain I can pull this off without destroying my kids minuscule inheritance, and I've talked to a few local geeks who would help out when my disabilities limit my involvement. However, the more I look at it, in terms of meeting not-for-profit business compliance, the more overcomplicated it appears to get; and I really don't like the idea of doing this as a for-profit business.
My question is, is there anyone out there in /. land that's done something like this, and is there anything non-obvious I should be looking at that I might not be right now? Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I might tame the Red Tape, or places I could look for help in getting started?
Actually, any comments would be appreciated.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Bill Gates may not be the Antichrist.

I'm in my Mid-40's, I've been in the computer biz since around '86 or so, with computer experience dating back to the late 70's.
When Windows 2000 came out, I had just finished getting my MCSE on Windows NT 4; at first I wasn't too impressed, they did a lot of things differently for no apparent reason, and the new features didn't seem like they were really worthwhile. But it grew on me... a lot. by the time SP4 came out, I was fully and totally in the Win2k camp; it was the greatest operating system on the planet, I even stopped thinking so much of how better OS/2 would have been if IBM wasn't so freaking stupid.
About this same time, I noticed a shift in the way Microsoft was doing things; they started getting really weird. before this period, you could go to the Microsoft website and be fairly certain of finding something neat somewhere that you could download and play with that might help you do a task, or just have fun with; they changed to having very narrow options for things, it actually became hard to find the few things that still existed, they seemed to be hiding the neat stuff from everyone except targeted communities.
Then Windows XP came out. Integrated DRM. phone home registration. thread limiting. all sorts of steps backwards in what the OS would let you do in comparison to Win2k.
Totally inferior as a platform to Win2k, except in appearance. not even as stable as Win98SE was, until SP2.
Of course, it was immensely popular, being as how it shipped on every new computer. I was still pretty happy, as there was absolutely NOTHING that XP could do as a platform better than Win2k, so I wasn't forced to use it. After SP2, WinXP pro made a decent workstation client, so I didn't judge my clients too harshly of they asked for it, they just didn't know any better, and there was no reason to get into a pissing match about it.
Windows 2003 server came out. it wasn't bad, but it still didn't provide the features of Win2k; a server platform that uses resources for prettiness and doesn't add anything to the mix, with a few evolutionary improvements that were frankly "blah"; I didn't really discourage my customers from using it, unless they were talking about "upgrading" a win2k machine, of course.
Then came Vista. Evil. I refused jobs and clients if they insisted on working with it; a lot of my contracts involve heightened security situations, and Vista will never be wholly the customers, it sold it's soul to the RIAA, Microsoft and whoever has the right credentials supplied by Microsoft.
Then came Windows 2008.
Something must have happened at microsoft. I don't have the source code or anything like that, but I've done extensive testing; it doesn't do anything you don't ask it to. it doesn't have to talk to Microsoft or apparently anyone else. it's pretty damn secure out of the box.
In other words, it's not apparently Evil. I may, just possibly, start suggesting upgrading to it from Win2k installations after I've tested it for a few more months, if a customer seems intent on "upgrading".
If Debian doesn't make more sense, of course.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Vista is Evil

I just posted this as a reply, I thought I would throw it in here, as well. Inspired writing, if I do say so myself.
I don't have any mod points right now, Or I would have modded it down. I'll rant instead.
From first-hand experience, I know that Vista has draconian DRM that not only cripples system performance, but exposes your private data better than a malware rootkit. unless sp1 removes the DRM, lock, stock & barrel, the service pack sucks, and Vista still sucks. Saying that it does something less sucky than it used to is very similar to saying that the Sudan is a great place to raise a daughter because they have stopped stoning woman to death for religious violations; it overlooks the fact that Woman are still stoned for other violations (analogy congruence: bad overall performance), and doesn't even touch on clitoral mutilation (analogy congruence: DRM in general).
So, what I'm saying here, is that by saying something good about Vista (Womans rights in Sudan), and even implying that its usable (woman can be happy in Sudan), you are encouraging people to accept something Evil (thinly veiled religious punishment of women & genital mutilation).
If you use or encourage the use of Vista, you are Anti-freedom. its plain and simple.

Windows 2000 never encouraged the stoning of women. And Windows XP only encouraged if if they were really, really bad.


Journal Journal: The morality of working with Vista 2

I've been in one field or the other of computer oriented support and/or operating since 1987; Over the years I've made myself familiar with most commonly used operating systems, from DOS to Solaris to OS/2 to Slackware to Windows 2000.
One of the ways I've done this with Microsoft products is by being a MSDN member, and getting and testing Alpha's & Beta's of the various releases; That's why I was was pushing OS/2 Warp over Win95, condemned them before it came out for WinME, and was pretty darned happy when Windows 2000 was released.
I steered people away from XP as long as I could, until it became apparent that Win2k was not going to be easily available; Luckily SP2 for XP had been released by then, and XP (or, as I like to think of it, Win2k Plus! pak with DRM!!!) was usable.
I retired a few years ago, but still support some old customers; today I got my 2nd ever support request for Vista (Help! my DVD drive won't read CD's!).
I've done my due diligence on Vista, and it is a pure crapfest of epic proportions; I doubt seriously that any amount of service packs will ever make it usable.
My first thought was just to tell them they screwed themselves, but then I suggested that they take it back to the place they bought it each and every time they had a problem.
The long winded prelude leads to this: What is the best way to deal with Vista? Would the best course be to try to fix it's myriad problems, or to try to do something that would fix the problem that Vista is?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Microsoft in a users perspective

I could probaby do this for submission, but I do not want to have to provide links.
My first MS product was MS-DOS 2.11 on a Tandy 1000HX that I bought, new, in 1989. I went from there to DOS 3.3, then 5.0, and 6.0 (Stacker!). I ignored the drivespace upgrade, thereby starting what would end up being a trend.
Thats a lot of changes, but nothing compared to what happened when I got Windows for Workgroup 3.11, in 1993.
For a long time there, I was underwhelmed. I liked, understood, and was a wizard in DOS; it was relatively similar to the mainframe stuff I was used to working with, and was pretty inferior to DesqView & Geoworks for pretty much everything.
Then, the world changed; OS2 Warp came out in 1994. I was running my own computer store at that time, and had it running on the display machines, doing things like having x-wing running in one window, while Doom was running in another; it was, simply, incredible.
And then, about 3 months before I think Warp would have had a fighting chance, Windows 95 came out. I was a Alpha & Beta tester for 95, and really wondered how in the world MS was going to compete with Warp; it was inferior in Every Way.
I had not counted on the Evil Genius factor, though; the shipping version of 95 was incompatible with Warp, meaning that the applications & games for it would not run in a warp window, making it a "one or the other" decision for end users; Possibly more importantly, though, was IBM stupidity; by the end of 1995, almost every new computer sold came bundled with 95, while IBM just did not; you had to buy it seperately. What were they thinking? they could have afforded to give away warp a lot longer than Microsoft could afford to give away 95; it was clear at that time that personal computers were going to dominate the world. IBM simply screwed up, and could be considered directly responsible for the mess we are in today.
I will finish this later.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I wanna Wii

I want a Wii.
Why do i feel this is worthy of a journal entry?
background: my teen kids have a PS2, and a Xbox. I have never touched either one, with the exception of modding them for the kids. Because I'm just not interested.
I play a LOT of games; I play, lately, Civ4, Sims2, Steel Panthers MBT, Empire Earth 2, Galactic Civilizations, GTA:SA, Hearts of Iron II, RailRoad Tycoon 3, Oblivion (I like morrowind better), SimCity IV, The Movies.
With the exception of (possibly) GTA:SA, a console just doesn't compare to my laptop for the type of games i like to play; I like being able to hack the game files, and twitch shooters have never really interested me.
I do like driving games, but not enough to buy one, and my kids don't like them, so....
BUT from what i can tell of the Wii, it looks like it may be a return to the concept that was still around when I was console gaming, on the PS1, N64, etc; It looks like they have tried to get away from the bigger & better shooter concept, and returned to something I haven't seen in a while; Fun Games, that any any relatively normal human can appreciate.
So, the first price drop that exceeds 10%, i'll be getting a Wii. the kids will just have to wait on their PS3.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I can post again!

All I had to do was change static IPs. I wish I could post in this thread: Looking Back on Five Years of Windows XP But since I had mod points, instead I used them I hope wisely. Whenever I see anything touting XP over Win2k, I feel an overwhelming need to keep typing until I express how wrong people are to think that XP is in any way whatsoever superior to win2k; after a page or two, I give up. There is just no way to convince people who are convinced otherwise that the sky is blue, Bush is Evil, or that a operating system that has Integrated DRM and requires you to get permission from Bill Gates to make changes to your hardware is bad.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Still can't post

I obviously really insulted someones deep seated convictions.
Anyway, I couldn't post this as a response, So I'll post it here:

Windows development ended with Win2k. everything after that is actually an altruistic effort on the part of Bill Gates to support Linux.

Pretty witty, huh? see what the nameless /. admin is making you miss by restricting me?

User Journal

Journal Journal: can't post? 1

this is a test; I've been trying to post to slashdot , doesn't seem to want to let me.

Thats interesting. I just checked my posting history, non of my posts since feb 24th have been showing up on /.; I had noticed that when I post it starts to load the confirmation page, but I just get a blank screen. Just tried it with IE instead of firefox, same thing.
Hmm. I'm being censored by /.? then why can I post to my journal? this is odd.

April 18th, 2005: Still can't post to slashdot. I keep getting mod points, my karma is excellent, I just can't post. for months. this is VERY strange.

May 22nd, 2005: Still can't post, and i'm still getting mod points. this is beyond strange. I wonder how long it'll be before they let me post again outside my journal, and if I will ever find out why this has been done?

June 29th, 2005: Still no posting allowed. Still getting mod points. Still no explanation.

Dec. 20th, 2005: Still no posting. Still getting mod points. Still no explanation. Think I should just hang it up and start another account?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Joke my mom told me.

President BushPresident Bush goes to a primary school to talk about
the war. After his talk he offers question time.
One little boy puts up his hand and the President asks him what his name is.
"And what is your question, Billy?"
"I have 3 questions. First, why did the USA invade Iraq without the support of the UN? Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more votes? Third, whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden?"
Just then the bell rings for recess. President Bush informs the kiddies that they will continue after recess. When they resume the President says, "OK, where were we? Oh that's right - question time. Who has a question?"
Another little boy puts up his hand. George points him out and asks him what his name is.
"And what is your question, Steve?"
"I have 5 questions. First, why did the USA invade Iraq without the support of the UN? Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more votes? Third, whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden? Fourth, why did the recess bell go 20 minutes early? And fifth, what happened to Billy?"

User Journal

Journal Journal: Sterling cycle cooler for CPU's

A weird idea occured to me a while back, and I've started playing with it.
I've had problems with CPU fans since they existed; by nature they can't help but get gunked up with crap on a pretty regular basis.
Since I have a few projects which require processors to run at 100% for extended periods of time, I've been thinking about different ways to fix this problem.
What I have come up with is building a small sterling cycle engine powered by the heat of the CPU(s), which supplies electricity for the large fans outside the case; the engine itself will draw a measure of heat away fom the processor, and the electricity produced should provide enough oomph to blow away the rest.
When the usage is low, the chip is cool, and the fans idle; when hot, there is more airflow.
I am currently going with a 12" shrouded (with a filtered intake) fan blowing into a section of 4" flex tube, which is affixed to a dremeled hole in the top of a midi-tower case; this is amazingly effective so far (it's not sterling powered yet, just hooked up to the power supply); a 1.1ghz Athlon (with just a heatsink) that is rendering in 3Dstudio stays in the 39-42 degree C range.
I fully plan to stay with pushing air into the case; this should result in a perpetual "overpressure" situtation, and should prevent any dust buildup, as long as the duct system is pushing air in with more force than the power supply fan.
Eventually, I would think the fan could be prettied up, and possibly be mounted on the back of the display.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Further Travails. 1

As you may know, I try to make use of computer equipment long past the time when others would toss it.
This recently came back to bite me when the power supply fan of my computer decided it just wasn't going to work anymore.
As I live in the backwoods, I figured I would have to drive to Murray, KY the nearest town of any size to get a cooling fan; I set forth on this
expedition with full confidence that my problems would soon be over.
I was wrong. You can not buy a case fan for a computer within 45 miles of Paris, TN for less than the cost of a NEW CASE (something i'm not about to spend money on).
OK, I figured, I'll order on line. I order 2 fans, a 12.5cm & a 8cm, figuring that should work to move air.
Amazingly, the 12.5cm fan shows up in 2 days, as it shipped from millington, where I used to be stationed.
I gleefully installed the fan and fired it up, only to watch in interest as the extremely high RPM fan proceeded to shed all it's little fan blades around the room.
So, now I wait for the 80mm, which hopefully either has a wimpier motor, or more flexible blades.
How am I typing this? I took a small 12" oscillating room fan, and the cardboard from a case of soda, bent the cardboard into a cone, and taped the small end on to the air intake vents on the back of the computer, and crammed the fan in the other end; the computer reports that it is running at full power with a CPU temperature of 96F, about 40F less than it ran when everything was working.
If it wasn't so noisy, i'd leave it like this.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I'm retiring my sig. 2

I'm retiring my sig; no one has remarked on it, let alone managed to figure out what it says.

Go gcreime scata Fomhorach olta do dhiosca crua

If you figure it out, comment on it here, I'll send you a valuable CD. no, really.

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The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.