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WEEK 3 2008

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First Post, 17 March 2002
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Saturday 19 January 2008
Saturday - keeping busy. There just seems to be so much to do on the weekend.

The malfunctioning main desktop (Windows) computer came first.

After a bit of fooling around it became clear that in order to work on it I had to completely disentangle it from the rats maze of other computers and cables it was embedded in. It's in the same rack as my "main" Linux system and the Beowulf cluster. We are talking for each cluster box a (1) power cable, (2) ethernet cable, (3) mouse connector, (4) keyboard connector, and (5) video connector for a total for twenty cables. Actually there were a couple of USB extension cables as well, so 22 cables. The main Linux box had another five, and the windows machine, with printer, scanner, USB, audio and firewire had another ten. So about thirty seven cables - plus the cables for the power strips, transformers, UPS units, air conditioner, and landline for the desk phone. It was a mess, forty five or fifty cables altogether.

I began by taking out all the Beowulf boxes, and their ethernet switch and cables and the four port KVM switch and cables. I haven't even turned the cluster on in months, so I decided to move it out to the garage, together with it's grey metal shelfing. You can see it before the move in yesterday's picture - that's Hobbiton, behind the cats. The PC's I kept are out of sight below the table. The Linux and Windows computers were going to be hooked to the KVM switch so the extra monitor/keyboard/mouse was moved to the spare bedroom - the garage isn't a good location for CRTs. I suspect, if I get the time and urge to work on the cluster I'll move it out there.

Once disentangled I set up the Windows machine on the table and plugged it in again - and it booted. NO problems. What the Heck? There were some minor issues with the printer - apparently if you change the USB cable from one port to another the OS isn't smart enough to realize that it already has the drivers and needn't reinstall them, but it wasn't a big deal. I just tried ports until I found the correct one.

Then it was time for lunch, with friends, at a nice Korean place. Afterwards I needed to go by the Walmart Customer Service Center, but decided to do it Sunday morning before the lines formed. Instead I went home, napped, and did some more work about the house.

Friday 18 January 2008

Friday - windy and coolish. I spent the day in a wool shirt and jacket - no sailing this weekend.

My friends contacted the city and there is a claim form that one can submit when a city tree falls upon a vehicle. Although the damage is mild, just a couple of small dents, we estimate the repair costs at about $1500 - two new quarter panels and possibly a new hood, all which need to be painted and pinstriped to match the rest of the vehicle.

In other bad news my main PC died. The is the relatively new P4 3.2Ghz system. Possibly it's just the power supply - it happened sometime last weekend when I was trying to do my taxes. I left the room and when I came back, voila, the machine was dead. Since it was hooked to the laser printer this meant that I had to redo a few things on my laptop, download the tax forms again from the IRS, and then install the printer drivers on the laptop so that I could print the tax forms out.

I'll see if I can find a working power supply around the house and substitute it in this weekend.

cat editors
Editors at work.

Thursday 17 January  2008

Thursday - another nice day, a bit cool and windy but still sunny. It was really windy last night - a tree limb fell on my car. Bah.

In the good news column I can say that I found my waterproof Pentax Optio WP. It was tucked away in a drawer.There needn't be a Olympus 790 in the near future.

Wednesday 16 January 2008

Wednesday - went down to the boat. It looked OK, fairly dry and tight (except for the bad ventilator box that I knew about). I started the diesel and charged the batteries for ten minutes or so (I also need to get the oil and filters changed). All these mornings driving the hills of Ventura on my way to work and looking across the channel to Anacapa have left me with a strong desire to go sailing. But we have Santa Ana winds forecasted for the next few days, it's probably not a do-able thing this weekend. Unless I go out early. It is a three day weekend, I could do a bit of sailing on Saturday morning and get back to Lancaster later in the day for more chores and tax stuff.

My tattooed rock-and-roll neighbor was home in the slip next door, with his pals. I practically got a contact high off the marijuana smoke drifting over. I really need to change slips on of these days. I wonder if I could move across the way. It's more exposed to westerlies, but also much further from all the apartments and people. Allmar owns all but one of the local marina's, it might be do-able. I'm grandfathered right now, with my tiny 27 foot boat, I don't want to lose out and have to pay a slip fee for the huge 40 foot minimum slips that are becoming that standard.

Tuesday 15 January 2008

Tuesday - I forgot to say, I'm up 50 cents for the last weekend. HooRah!! Of course my Dad will have the Patriots next week, and I'll have the Chargers and Green Bay, so he'll have the Giants. I might break even.

Taxes are done, and the checks mailed off.

 Monday 14 January 2007

Monday - back to work. I drove down in the morning and it was fairly busy on both the 14 and the 126. Not impossible, though it means the day starts about an hour early.

Book #3 was Around the World Single Handed: The Cruise of the "Islander", by Harry Pidgeon. It's an OK book - Pidgeon isn't the author that Slocum or Chichester was, though it's reasonably well written. One oddity, to the modern reader, is that it is primarily about the places visited and not about the experiences and skills involved in small boat sailing. In 1922 Tahiti, Panama and Australia were remote spots, visited only by the wealthiest of yachtsmen. Today we travel by the thousands to all of these places and to us the remarkable part of his voyage is that is was done alone, without an engine or even self steering gear. But the matter of an engine, for example, isn't even brought up until he mentions a gas outboard being pushed on him to aid the transit of the Panama Canal....

Sunday 13 January 2007

Sunday - working on those quarterly taxes. Bah. A nice day out and I'm reduced to doing anything but taxes indoors.

It was a weekend of excellent football. I thought the Cowboy's game the weakest, but perhaps it was just a game too many. The other games were excellent, some of the best football I've seen all year. And there was a snowbowl - I do enjoy a good snowbowl.

Book #2 of the new year was The Hidden Family, by Charles Stross, the sequel to The Family Trade mentioned last week. OK stuff, but not world shaking. It was read in fits and starts during the week and that may have affected my perception of it.

Picture of the Week
red leaf among the brown
Photo Notes: Red Leaf among the brown.

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