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WEEK 39 2003

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Picture of the Week

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A Year Ago, This Week

Saturday 27 September 2003

Saturday - my brother in law came by on Friday night, so instead painting we went to a nice big breakfast, and then fooled around with computers for most of the day. We got the game machine to talk to the old game machine via a crossover cable that I happened to have laying about. So, now all the machine really needs is a better graphics card and a sound card. We had an old ISA card, but decided it wasn't worth the effort to try to configure without any documentation - ISA was hard enough even when you do have the instructions! I'm sure we can pick up a nice PCI / PNP sound-blaster compatible card somewhere for $5 or so.

Friday 26 September 2003

Friday - worked a bit on test cases and whatnot. Not a lot to say. Talked to my friend who is back from her honeymoon, and who is in no hurry to return to work here, alas. Good for her - but more work for me. So it goes...

Tomorrow - painting! My  father has given me permission to take another couple of days for that...

driving into the equinoctal sunset...

Driving into the equinoctal sunset on the way home...

Thursday 25 September 2003

Thursday - dinner was at Appleby's in Palmdale. I had some sort of steak tips in Madeira, they were OK, but not memorable. I helped a bit with geometry tutoring, tried out my friends new DSL ( seems to work OK ) and took a short walk. Not a lot else going on...

Wednesday 24 September 2003

Wednesday - not a lot of new stuff. Driving home last night I noticed that the setting sun was directly in my eyes. Since it is an east-west road this was a clue that we were at the Autumnal Equinox. We had a nice sunset actually - if I had my camera in the car I would have taken a pic for the page here, but you'll just have to take my word for it.

The floppy drive is now working - I'm not sure if it was the drive or the cable, but I replaced both and it now works. Most of my floppy cables were 'keyed' and the pins on the motherboard aren't, so that was an issue. I also turned on UDMA and what-not for the drive, and it seems a bit faster. There is still a thirty second pause on boot for some reason, but other than that it seems to work as well as could be expected...

Tuesday 23 September 2003

Tuesday - lots of little things at work - test cases and what not. Not very interesting. I did look at the one of the CFD codes that I have source for, and it appears that it would be fairly easy to parallelize.

Working on the 9-year old's LAN box this evening. With various and assorted parts it seems to be going together fairly well, once I had convinced  the old 450BX someone had given me to boot from a mystery 5GB hard drive I had laying about. Not sure what was on it, but it's all been reformatted now as NTFS space for Windows XP. The floppy drive isn't working - I got a bad batch not as cheap as I thought a while back... XP seems rather slow, compared to LINUX on similar 450BX boxes that I have. I need to defragment and such before I can make a call on that I suppose.

Monday 22 September 2003

Monday - back to work.

From Fred Reed's page:

Alone in a darkling wood, with things all about flying and hunting and growing in a vast ungraspable dance, I suspected that I was in the presence of something above my pay grade. Just what, I couldn't say, nor of what intentions or provenance. I didn't think it was much concerned with me. It wasn't physics.

Recently I found the noted astrophysicist Stephen Hawking quoted, perhaps correctly, as saying that humanity may be on the verge of understanding everything whatever. Physicists often say such things, speaking of string theory, singularities, and the 3K background radiation-words redolent of insulation and sixty-cycle hum. If one may differ with a cosmogonist, I suggest that we understand almost nothing. And without the slightest disrespect, I note that the brightest of a large population of hamsters is, after all, a hamster.

Which is something I meant to bring up a while back. While watching X-men and X-men II the memory came back of a question that some essayist had: "If chimpanzee's had the power to create a super-chimp, would they create a human being?" And the answer was: no. They'd create a chimp with super strength, super hearing, super fur, a super sense of smell. Almost certainly they wouldn't include super intelligence. And neither do humans, in their hollywood fantasies and sci-fi adventures. Oh, the occasional mutant can read minds, or is smarter than most (though usually crippled in some way if so), but none is across-the-board better. It could be just the demands of the medium, the need for a good story. But I wonder.

Fred's an interesting read. ( Heh - I wrote "reed" the first time. ) Cynical and a bit depressing, but observant.

Newcomb's Paradox. For no particular reason.

Sunday 21 August  2003

Sunday -  the Christening went off very well Saturday - the infant was well behaved and there were none of the...unfortunate incidents...that afflict small children when held aloft in public, which various and sundry people had recollected beforehand. Indeed, the beautiful church in San Diego Old Town and the clement weather made it a pleasure to attend.

Afterwards there was a little get-together, where the adults relaxed with an adult beverage and lunch while the children raced about burning off the suppressed energies of earlier in the morning, and in the process inventing a new game for the croquet implements. The improvisation resulted in only a single bumped knee, so that went well.

Afterwards there was a quick trip to Fry's computers to upgrade the memory in a windows machine. If you install FPM RAM in a machine that expects EDO then the FPM shows up as half it's correct size. I used to know this stuff, but it is rare to see 72 pin SIMMs these days.

Sunday morning was devoted to a delicious blueberry pancake breakfast by the hostess, followed by naps, and wallowing about in the sybaritically warm pool. Eventually, late afternoon, it was time to head home to Lancaster. The Explorer was, as always, a pleasure to drive.

Picture of the Week
Apse, Church of the Immaculate Conceptions, San Diego
Photo Notes: The apse, Church of the Immaculate Conception, San Diego Old Town.

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