Random Thought: ...It's a 3rd degree secret of the Star Trek Trad, Next Generation branch. >
Shortly after The EMC and I moved into our first solo apartment after getting hitched, she surprised me with the gift of a little black ball of fluff – an American Longhair cat that we christened Zoe The Monster (because she was fluffy like Sesame Street ‘monsters’ – it made sense to me…). I don’t have any digitized pictures of her from before 2009 – primarily because most of her pictures look like a pair of eyes floating in a puddle of darkness, as seen here in the Xmas 2009 album:
This picture is about the best one I have as far as getting any visual detail is concerned: Read the rest of this entry »
I did the full write-up over on my leatherworking site – here’s the link:
And a teaser:
So, we’re all moved in to the new apartment now, and I’d forgotten so much about apartment living in the years spent at the last place.
We’re on the first floor, so I have upstairs neighbors – and of course they have a small child. A stompy child. (Not that the parents are any better, mind you…) Thankfully, they’ve figured out they should keep it down after 9pm, so it’s just during the day that it drives me nuts.
My assigned parking place is of course next to an un-assigned one, and the most-frequent denizen of that space had a habit of parking way too far to one side of the space making it hard for me to get in the car. Last time he did that he out-and-out parked over the line and I had to leave a polite note on his windshield. He’s been good since then, but he’s still pissing me off because the car is a rust-bucket with expired Washington tags and I want it towed.
Bitch! Whine!! Moan!!! getoffmylawn!!1!
Okay, rant over.
On the good news side of things, I talked to the maintenance guy and there’s no rule against some light wood working on the patio, so I don’t have to drag my desk all over town to find someplace to do rebuild it as a leatherworking bench.
I bought all the materials last weekend and had them cut to size, so all I have to do now is glue and screw it together. Mounting the monitor on the spring rod will be a bit more challenging since I have to make some custom brackets, but nothing I can’t manage.
I think the hardest part is going to be dragging the needed tools out of storage.
Welcome to the world, little girl!
Hmm… Grandpa? Grampa? Gramps? “Hey Old Guy”?
Moving Day – a phrase that strikes fear and loathing into the hearts of most, with only those blithely possession-less folks able to resist the call to despair at the thought of picking up all your crap and lugging it somewhere else. When I moved to Las Vegas shortly after high School, it was no big deal – just two duffel bags and a box of books. Leaving Las Vegas 8 years later, however was an entirely different proposition involving a 14-foot box truck – and if I hadn’t got rid of the TV, I would have needed a bigger truck.
15 years ago, I packed it all up for the 29th time and hauled it to my current digs. I was 29 years old. Some of the places I have lived had seen me for several years, while other had been mere temporary stays of a few months. None of the long stays exceeded 4 years prior to this last residence.
Now, however, this run must come to an end. The landlords have realized that we were getting away with exceedingly cheap rent considering what the market will bear, and decided to rectify that to the tune of an $800 per month increase that my budget simply will not bear. So, out come the boxes from the cardboard hoard and off to the dump we go to start seriously offloading 15 years’ worth of accumulated crap to pare down to human-movable volumes of stuff.
For many years, I have been perfecting ways to compare computers to cars, since most of my clients know nothing about the magic box under their desk, but they usually know at least a little something about your average car – you change the oil, replace the tires, take it in for a tune-up, that sort of thing. Recently, a similar thought struck me about cell phones – specifically, smart phones – that compares rather well to certain brands of performance cars:
The iPhone is a Porsche 911
Think about it: back in 1963, Porsche unveiled the 911, and it has been in continuous production ever since, with only incremental changes. Tweak a little here, update the technology behind that thing over there, and roll it out onto the dealer lot with a minor incremental change in the type number. Porsche loves the 911 so much, that it can be argued rather well that in fact it is the only car they make, considering that the other models look more like they took a 911 through a funhouse and took pictures of the reflections in the funny mirrors than as car designs in their own right. (That’s right, Panamera, I’m looking at you…)
Well, we have the same thing with the iPhone. Any changes to the iPhone in each generation have been merely incremental tweaks – a slight change to a curve here, a slightly updated processor there, just enough to make sure that the end-users don’t think they are stagnating and not moving forward with the times. iOS compares rather straight across to the venerable rear-engine Boxer arrangement found in the 911 – which was air-cooled until 1998.
So, if the iPhone is a Porsche, then the other major brands can be equated to BMW, Audi, Mercedes and the like. While the iPhone sticks to that rear-engine Boxer, the other brands put the engine in front with Android, using a number of different engine configurations, body styles, performance packages and trim levels. Everything from zippy little two-seaters (your humble feature phones) up to massively overpowered station wagons that you can’t fit into your
garage pocket (Samsung Galaxy Note).
Now, don’t get me wrong – the Porsche 911 and the iPhone it compares to are both capable machines – but sometimes, you have to wonder if maybe the designers have taken what was a good thing and dragged it out too long. While the other major players have been out there innovating and developing and taking risks with design, the iPhone has been playing the same song. With the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, it’s really playing catch-up with the other guys.
To all of you self-entitled pedestrians and bicyclists that assume the law doesn’t apply to you: if it is OK for you to break the law, then it’s OK for me to break the law. Remember that when you see me accelerating at you while you’re running a red light.
Seriously now, let’s look at this. If a car runs a red light, he’s a madman, but if a bicycle runs a red, it’s somehow supposed to be OK? If there is room for the bicycle to run the red, then arguably a car with faster acceleration can make it through as well. Maybe I should run those reds alongside you?
For all of you peds that shout “pedestrians have the right of way”, that just means that if I hit you, I will get a ticket. It does not mean you have carte blanche to cross whenever you want. Yes, yes, I know Oregon has a rule that lets peds cross without a crosswalk, but that only applies if you can manage to be more than 150 feet from an intersection on a back road somewhere that doesn’t have crosswalks. City blocks are 200 feet long. Here’s some of the relevant City codes:
PORTLAND CITY CODE16.70.200 Pedestrians.16.70.210 Must Use Crosswalks.No pedestrian may cross a street other than within a crosswalk if within 150 feet of a crosswalk.16.70.750 Penalty.(Amended by ordinance nos 165987 and 176394, effective April 17, 2002.)Violation of this Chapter is an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $150.(A) Except as provided below, violation of this Chapter is an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $150.(B) Violation of sections 16.20.470, 16.70.510 A,16.70.210, 16.70.220 and 16.10.060, is punishable by a fine of not more than $500, or byimprisonment not exceeding 10 days or both.
That’s right, kids, crossing without a crosswalk is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or 10 days in jail. The only reason you’ve never seen anyone get a ticket from this is the fact that there just aren’t enough cops to enforce it.
Some days I really miss my old Plymouth with the 400-inch engine. Power-braking that while revving the engine was a sure way to clear the crosswalk instantly. Nothing says “move” like a 3-ton car experiencing 6 inches of torque roll.
So the last time the Boss got me a new work laptop, they let me buy the old one cheap and I took it home and set it up in the living room for general use. For the last few months, however, it has been getting slower and slower. 2 weeks ago, I cloned the hard drive over to a good spare, but that hasn’t helped things any. Obviously, it’s just a dying machine.
So, on to a replacement. I’ve sold enough HP gear over the last few years to build up a decent nest-egg in reward points, so I converted them into a gift card and went shopping. Since all I really needed the machine n the living room for was basic web activity, I figured I’d save some and went with a Chromebook 14.
Overall impression? Aside from some odd choices in the interface design, it does what it says on the tin. It’s hard to remember that you can’t do certain things, but otherwise it handily does what it’s told.
As for those design choices, the first one that really grabs you is the keyboard keys – they’re larger than standard, which means I keep finding myself hitting the paces between the keys and not typing anything. Which is doubly weird for me, since I don’t touch-type, but even with staring at the keyboard, I’m not doing as well as normal.
Second is the choice of keys. They left out the standard PgUp/Dn Home/End keys, and instead of making the Function keys dual-purpose like many modern keyboards, these ones have been fully converted to the computer’s special functions. The lack of a Delete key is singularly confusing.
The most confusing bit by far, however, was the really poorly-worded instructions for a right-click: the paperwork clearly says “Double-Tap for Right-click”; what they actually meant was “Click with two fingers to Right-click”. Real helpful there, guys.
Still, so far, so good. Seems like just the thing if all you need is web access and light productivity.
Took the Daughter Unit and her Bestie out for archery at the Washington Park field this morning and found two unexpected things:
First, Washington Park has put in parking meters everywhere, and it now costs $1.60 an hour to park. Still way cheaper than going to one of the indoor ranges, so it’s not a terrible hardship, just an unexpected cost.
Second: the filed gets ridiculously muddy in winter. I had no idea, as it was never this bad during the rainy parts of last summer, but apparently over the winter the place becomes nigh-unusable. There needs to be some ditch work done along the edges to allow the water table to sink lower.
So, have my skills atrophied any over the winter? Not noticeably. Of course, with that batch of arrows, it’s difficult to tell. I’ll need to do some additional repair work though, as one of my arrowheads decided to permanently reside inside a hay bale. Au revoir, my arrowhead.
So there you are, you’ve just updated the last of your servers to Server 2008, 2008R2 or even 2012, and you’ve gotten all of your client PCs up to at least Windows 7. Feels pretty good, eh?
Unfortunately, your users are hounding you because their tried-and-true Network Browser doesn’t show any of the servers. They can see all of the other PCs on-net, but the servers just don’t show up. You can of course type in the hostname manually, but what user is ever going to remember how to do that? Why does this simple thing fail?
Well, it turns out that there is a specific service that tells other systems what shared resources are available on a particular system – and for some completely unfathomable, dumb-as-fuq reason, Microsoft doesn’t enable this service by default on servers. The service in question is Function Discovery Resource Publication (FDResPub), and all you need to do is set this service to auto and start it – and within seconds you can refresh that Network Browser window and see results.
The mind, it boggles.
Here’s the even dumber thing about this: Windows 7 and server 2008 share a whole ton of code, right? Well, Win7 includes this service – and it is set to automatic by default!
Now, I can understand not necessarily wanting this enabled on all servers – there’s no need to show the servers that don’t have shares on them, like the SQL server. If this was some option that would pop up sometime during the server configuration stages, like a check box offering to “Advertise this server in Network Browser” (the list of options in the File Services Role would seem an ideal spot), this would make sense – but nope.
I’m guessing the planning for this move went something like this: “well, on PCs, we have to set things up by default for the Dumbest Common Denominator, which is going to be the workgroup user – you know, the shlubs that can barely check their email and have no idea how a computer actually works, so they would never be able to make a PC advertise to the Browser. We’ll enable file sharing by default and set the FDResPub service to auto. But on servers, we’ll leave it off, because surely a server admin will be smart enough to figure out a service we never talk about anywhere by digging up a single reference in an obscure forum post. Yeah, that sounds about right!”
Gee. Thanks, guys.