Travels and Images
WEEK 1 2006
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Picture of the Week
Saturday 7 January
Saturday - a nice warm day. Just a hint
of a western wind, a breeze really. Went for a nice walk, ~5 miles,
towards the west valley. Took the 6600 - stuck it in a coat pocket, but
it was so warm that I soon took the jacket off. To ensure that I didn't
drop the PDA on the ground I used the inner zippered pocket, which
would have made answering the phone difficult, had I actually received
any calls. I can put it in a jeans pocket, but then I always seem to
turn it on to some function, despite having the 'button lock' feature
enabled. Maybe I'll get a belt holster of some sort.
Went over and visited with my friends in the evening - the band down
the street was playing again. But it's Saturday night, what can you do??
An odd occurrence: I went over and checked my mail, and someone drove
up in a U.S. Mail jeep as I was doing so, and asked if I'd seen the my
mailman come by. I said "no" but showed him the junk mail I'd just
retrieved, and he said
"That's yesterday's mail. We're looking for him..."
The Zen Micro hasn't had it's battery recharged since leaving my Dad's
place, but it's still going strong. Well, the indicator shows just a
little charge left, 1 bar instead of 3 bars, so it's hard to say. But
that's six hours on the interstate, plus four days at about two hours
of play per day, so about 12 hours total. Not too bad. I think they
advertised 15 or 20, so perhaps running the battery down is
"conditioning" it. I'm having somewhat the same experience with the
The PDA will also play MP3's, so perhaps I jumped the gun on buying the
Zen. I need to get the little cable to connect to the FM transmitter
and compare the two. The Zen has a nice "resume" and plays all the
files in a folder, so I have to see if the XV6600 will do the same. It should,
but the OS is a Microsoft product, and you just never know with them.
Or with Verizon, for that matter. The drive in the media industry to
"lock" people into specific formats and devices is very strong right
Friday 6 January
Friday - got the "mex"
files thing going, mostly due to reading the user forums. The manuals,
as is usual with any software, were useless. Once you knew what was
going on they made sense, but as tutorials they weren't much help.
Read the Caleb Carr book, The Italian Secretary.
Disappointing. Not up to the quality of his own novels. And I
find the fawning depiction of the scottish queen, Mary Stuart annoying.
A foolish and treacherous woman that managed to get herself, and
Thursday 5 January 2006
- back at work, wrestling with MATLAB. Supposedly one can compile and
run external codes from it, written in FORTRAN, C or JAVA ("mex"
files), but there were issues. The default install of MATLAB is under C:\Program Files\MATLAB, and it turns out that any spaces in the MATLAB path name breaks the compiler switches. That is, the default install breaks the functionality. So I had to uninstall and reinstall MATLAB, in a different location. And it still
didn't work. Turns out that the scripts for the particular FORTRAN
compiler were missing from the distribution CD, you had to go download
them from the website. And so on.
Had to go talk to the neighbor kids about their loud music. Great. Every few months I guess.
Wednesday 4 January 2006
Wednesday - back at work, and tired. There
wasn't a lot going on, and that was good... Stopped by the library on
the way home, with an overdue book. Picked up a Sherlock Holmes novel, by
Caleb Carr (who wrote The Alienist). It should be a good, if short, read.
Tuesday 3 January
Tuesday - after some morning errands I hit
the road. The little Zen Micro performed superbly - pumping out the
chapters of the book, Master and Commander, by Patrick O'Brian. The weather was good, traffic moderate, and I was home about 6:30 in the evening.
It was actually clear at times, Monday's rainstorms having cleared the
air, and I could see across the lower San Joaquin Valley to the snow
crested Sierra Nevada's. I even took a picture.
Monday 2 January 2006
Monday - a federal holiday, so I have it off as well. I meant to drive back to Lancaster, but the weather was terrible,
storms up and down the state. By the time I had finished packing it was
noontime, and there was a good chance that I'd be trying to drive
through a rain-or-snow storm in the mountains. So I took the wiser
course, and delayed departure until Tuesday.
One of the storm's dropped 4.3" of rain in 24 hours. Amazing.
Did I write about trying to run Windows Update for my father's
computer? It's a nice little 2Ghz HP laptop, with XP on it. But the
Windows Update on the Microsoft web site didn't want to run. It
complained about not being able to run "Active X". So I spent a LOT
of time, swearing, checking repeatedly that scripting was, indeed,
turned on (not a good thing, in general). and that other things, like
firewalls and routers weren't blocking the Microsoft site. B***ards. What should have been a five minute process took hours of my time. I think that it's patched, but I'm not really sure.
I don't think people realize just how shoddy and second rate Microsoft
Windows is. They are accustomed to it, and don't really expect anything
Sunday 1 January
Sunday - not a lot to say. Peg didn't
enjoy the fireworks, but I locked the bedroom door and let my Dad
deal with her. I slept, in fact, in my father's den, rather than the
guest bedroom. The people down the street were having a party and had
their music pumped up to unpleasantly loud levels, and the guest room
was a bit quieter.
Photo Notes: My guest room has a nice southern exposure, and is warm; a door left open and a quilt left out are just an invitation for a cat to make himself comfortable.
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