WEEK 21 2009
Mon- Tue- Wed-
Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Ago, This Week, 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
Years Ago, this
Ago, This Week, 2005
This Week, 2006
This Week, 2007
This Week, 2008
- Not a lot to say. Did a bunch of chores around the house and yard.
Even did a little bit of reading for work. Shopping. Books to and from
Caught up on the TIVO, though there wasn't much there. There was the
NCIS finale, which I had thought was the episode of a week before.
Watched a couple episodes of The Gilmour Girls, on DVD. I hadn't remembered that the guy from Supernatural was in it. He looks a lot younger, and in GG his character is named Dean, which is the name of his brother in Supernatural (in which he is Sam).
Book #22 was Hammerfall,
by C.J. Cherryh. It was OK, written in a workmanlike manner, but not
much really happens. Our hero travels about a sandy world on
genetically modified camels, trying to save people. Eh. It's apparently
part of a series - maybe it would be more interesting if I had read the
Friday 22 May
- put in a mornings work, then a quick pass through Fry's, then back on
the road up north. The 405 was a mess, it being a holiday weekend, but
I was home in just over two hours.
Book #21 was She and Allan, by H. Rider Haggard. The is actually a 'prequel' to She,
though I don't think they used the term then. It was OK, not really
shedding much light on Ayesha. Anyway, Allan and Umslopagass help her
in a great battle against another immortal (Haggard liked to stage
great big Zulu battles) and in return she shows them the afterlife - a
rather gloomy chapter, actually - and they decide it was all a dream
Riley & Phoebe in a rare moment of napping together.
- a vast number of people* have asked me how the binhex editor worked, for recovering data from the corrupted file on the PDA.
Ans: It worked pretty well. First the the file was transferred to
my windows laptop and I used the bin hex editor on it there. I've
a screen shot below,
highlighting the area (using HxD Hex Editor 220.127.116.11, downloaded for
free from CNET) showing the hours worked.
You can see that, for example, on April 9th 2009 I worked from 8:10
until 6:21, with only a 30 minute break. Acckk. There were about two
weeks - 10 occurrences - of this stuff, so that worked out OK.
In tangentially related news, according to a Slashdot article last week, Microsoft is discontinuing MS-Debug,
which is a hex editor that's been in MSDOS and Windows since the
beginning of time. Maybe before. It doesn't do Vista's 64 bit stuff, so
they are finally dropping it. I'd completely forgotten about it, but I
suppose I could have used it to do pretty much the same thing-
Here is a screen shot of the same file, using DEBUG running in the dos
box on the WinXP laptop. I had to rename the file, since Debug only
understands the old 8.3 conventions. To get this screen I used:
> debug aaa.pwi
-d 100 400
In other, only mildly related news, "edlin" at the DOS prompt will still bring up an extremely antiquated editor... I prefer gvim.
* Actually nobody did, but what the heck.
Wednesday 20_May 2009
- the "other programming" was renaming hundreds of gigabytes of video files - thousands
of them - to a specific convention. Basically one has to open an excel
file, read a number, turn that into a video name, change the name so
that it reflects the database structure, change the name in the Excel
file, copy the old file to the new name on the drive, and save
everything (never, ever, delete original data).
Vbscript to the rescue. One gigabyte takes about 3 minutes to process,
so 325GB of data should take about 14 hours on my laptop...except that
it doesn't have a big enough drive (only 80GB) so we'll run it on the new dual-core HP Touchsmart at work (600GB), and it'll be faster.
Once we've Office on that machine.
The first pass at the scripting is done, and it should handle 90% of
the work. There are some special cases to program in, and that will be
another 9%. That last 1% will probably just be hand editing. It's not
worth the effort to automate everything.
Well, time to go home. There is a church in the building, directly
below me. Since 6:00pm it has sounded like they are casting out demons,
or at the very least handling snakes....
Tuesday 19_May 2009
- back at work. Mostly just finishing touches on the programming from
last week. I've some other programming to do this week, then need to
read a set of plans and specs for a project I'll be working on.
I think I mentioned the little laptop, the Acer AspireOne. It works
well enough for light duty, but lacks an external drive. A friend
recently returned to me an old USB external CD drive - he said
that the software bundled with it didn't work on XP. I haven't tried
burning anything, but it works well enough for reading stuff, and
installing some SW from CD.
The old Plextor CD drive is about as big as the AspireOne laptop!
Monday 18_May 2009
- Book #20 was Allan Quatermain, by H. Rider Haggard. Rip-roaring action in old colonial Africa. Even a century later it is a good yarn.
I read the electronic version, by the way, downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg in EPUB format.
So, we are on pace for fifty books this year. Not much in the way of history, science or technical, but I've been pretty busy.
- I forgot to mention - on Friday night I went with friends to see a
production of The Full Monty. I wasn't too enthused - I offered my
ticket to someone else, but they wouldn't take it - but it turned out
to be a lot of fun. The performance was at the LPAC (whose seats are
getting a bit rundown) and by the Cedar St. Theatre troupe. They were
amateurs and it showed, but they were also enthusiastic and hard
working - and that
showed too. It was a great show (I'd never seen it before) and they got
a well deserved standing ovation at the end.
Book #19 was
by L.E. Modesitt. Modesitt is a good writer, with an
imaginative way of creating worlds. Unfortunately his protagonists and
their path to adventure are
almost indistinguishable from one book to the next - he seems to have
taken Joseph Campbell a little too seriously. So I checked out this
book from the local library, and will probably read the sequels from
there as well.