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WEEK 3 2004

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Saturday 17 January 2004

Saturday - feeling a bit tired and 'under the weather'. Thankfully it's a nice long 3-day weekend!

Friday 16 January 2004

Friday - arrgghhh. They want the thesis in "A4". Which is british empire paper, slightly narrower and slightly taller than the US standard of 8.5x11 inches. I'll have to email and see if that is acceptable...

Thursday 15 January 2004

Thursday - I've been trying to help someone finish their doctorate. It's all done, actually, and just needs printing and binding. I've got the text - in Microsoft Word 97 ( and can't be changed, else the equations will be messed up!), and have emailed to find out details of the binding and so on. 

Wednesday 14 January 2004

Wednesday - well, the president has spoken. A new space policy, goals, missions, and cuts. It's hard to say at this point what is going to happen - clearly there is a lot of redirection going on over in the space side of NASA but what it means to the aeronautics side, where I am, is rather vague. It's been smaller side of NASA for a long time, since the "space" part was added actually. I should clarify that - I don't actually know if the aeronautics side of NASA gets more or less money, percentage wise, than NACA did. Heck, it may be more.

Sometimes I hate Netscape Composer. Now it ignores the space bar until I type the next character. Given the low quality of my typing, and hence my continual backspacing and retyping  it is an incredibly annoying thing to happen. Bit rot?

Tuesday 13 January 2004

Tuesday - someone said I was "brief" yesterday. Well, a combination of unpleasant news at work and an annoying evening working on a laptop. So, a less brief synopsis of laptop operations:

The laptop saga. It's a middle-aged HP Pavilion laptop, circa 2000, with  Windows XP on it, belongs to a friends daughter. Over time the operating system has become corrupted, virus ridden, and needs reinstalling. Unfortunately it didn't come with system disks but with the system version of XP stored in a secret partition on the hard drive. So, if the viruses or whatever wreck the hard drive the backup is gone. Not much of a plan, but it saved HP from shipping 25 cents worth of CDs. We are hoping that the partition was is OK. Question: how to do it? XP comes with a system restore, but the only checkpoint was late last year, not good enough. Nothing under restore on how to get back to the "as shipped" state. After half an hour of thrashing about looking on Google it turns out that it is a "system recovery" not a "system restore" for this procedure. Going back to HP's site, sure enough, under the desktop section there is stuff on how to do a recovery. But with a caveat, if XP Service Pack #1 has been installed then the recovery won't complete, and will hang the PC. Check the laptop. SP1,sigh. But wait - there is a HP patch for the Microsoft service pack, click "here" it says.  Which sends me to a dead page. More thrashing around to find a valid copy of the utility. Finally I download it onto my own desktop (the laptop's networking isn't working), put it on a floppy, transfer it to the laptop, and run it there.  It fails. Some ID number missing. Check Google again ( the HP pages not showing any sign that anyone has ever had this fail...) and sure enough, someone had this problem, and someone replied! Alright! The solution is at hand!. Check the reply: "email HP". Arrgghhh. So, I messed around, emailed people, and eventually got the laptop networking to work again. But as of late evening, no replies to the emails, so I'm waiting before trying the system restore...

I also tried putting a new anti virus software, Norton 2004, on the laptop. It wouldn't activate because there was no network connectivity at first. Then, after I got connectivity to work it still just hangs, without any error or progress messages, for hours, 'configuring', after supposedly "activating".

I'm going to get my sliderule out.

In other news, the weather continues fine....

Monday 12 January 2004

Monday - eh.

Sunday 11 January 2004

Sunday - didn't do a lot. Cleaned up the garage a bit, visited with some friends, went out to lunch, worked on computers a bit.

Picture of the Week
Cal Poly(s) Rose Parade float 2004
Photo Notes: Each year, at the Rose Parade, the two California State Polytechnic Universities get together and create a float. This year is was apparently some sort of sea theme...

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