Absence

In blogdom, it doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. All I have to do is look at my blog stats page to see that.

But there are some of you who are hanging in there and keep checking for new posts. I admit I don’t have a clue why, but the possibility exists that you actually like the crap I post here. That, or you have lives that are even more meaningless than mine. Either way, I thank you for stopping by.

I’ve been sidetracked lately with several geek issues. I did manage to get my web server running, and I found that PHP isn’t as difficult as it appears when one actually reads the fine manual.

(Note: non-geeks can spare themselves the eyeball-glazing boredom of reading the next few paragraphs by skipping directly to the last section. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

Issue One:

My computer is an AMD 64-bit box running an outdated version of Mandriva Linux. As a default, Mandriva installs PostgreSQL instead of MySQL, giving me a LAPP server instead of a LAMP server. While LAMP tutorials and guides abound, LAPP tutorials are non-existent, forcing me to either read the 1422-page PostgreSQL pdf manual or install MySQL. Because I’m running a version of Mandriva that’s several releases out of date, I can’t even install a new (or old) package, so to correct the problem I decided to install a newer release. Only instead of Mandriva, I decided to install Gentoo, the geekiest Linux distribution out there.

Each one of my four Gentoo installations has failed after they’ve been completed and I run: emerge — update –world –deep, and then the other cleanup utilities. This is a non-trivial and time-consuming process. And I still haven’t figured out what about the update trashes my boot loader so badly that I can’t even boot with a GRUB boot floppy. I will, eventually; my obsessive-compulsive nature guarantees it. In the meantime, I don’t have a lot left of my meager store of attention span for other projects like eating, sleeping, or posting on the blog.

Issue One point Five:

Also in the meantime, I’ve installed Ubuntu Linux on a computer for someone else. I chose Ubuntu for this person because she’s a non-geek, and Ubuntu is at the other end of the Geek Spectrum from Gentoo. The installation took less than a half-hour. Installing all the software necessary for her to have the equivalent of a pimped-out, non-crashing Windoze box took several more hours. And all that’s left is to move her music and pictures from the backup I made. Slick. Easy. Plus it has an automated update system.

So why am I beating my head against a wall to install Gentoo on my system? Those of you who know me answer in unison: it’s a control issue! Gentoo offers me more options and control than any other distro. That’s the reason I abandoned Windoze in the first place: I got sick of accepting second-rate crap that someone else decided was all I should have. I like to look under the hood and tweak stuff so it works the way I want it to work. So I’ll keep battling the Alzheimer’s until I get Gentoo to work. In the meantime, posting here suffers.

Issue Two:

Something you can’t notice in the low-res pix I post, but drives me crazy. I thought that once I got a digital SLR, my photography would be all unicorns and rainbows. Unreasonable expectations? Of course! I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have ’em.

With my film cameras, when I changed a lens and got dust inside the body, the dust sat on the film and ruined a shot. Now, with my digital camera, when I change a lens and get dust inside the body, the dust sits on the CCD and ruins that shot and all subsequent shots. I spend a lot of time cleaning the CCD and still end up with dust specks on the images. And I don’t have the cash flow right now to pay to have it cleaned professionally. So I end up not taking pictures. And if I don’t take pictures I can’t post ’em.

Anyhoo, that’s my long, rambling, whiny excuse for the lack of posts lately. You wouldn’t have had to read this, except the dog ate the note from my mom.

Now I gotta go practice my saxophone for a couple of hours, something else that’s suffered lately.

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12 Responses to “Absence”

  1. bronxblog Says:

    Mind numb…..eyes glazed……AAAAAAAAAAARRRGH!!
    Uh….so, ya got any pitchers?

  2. lizardbrain Says:

    I warned you.

  3. S. Weasel Says:

    Waaaaaait a second. Did you just call me a loser for checking up on you?

    I’ll be dipped if I’m going to give Gates money for another crappy operating system, but I bought a Thinkpad this year…I love it to bits…and nobody’s written a Linux wifi driver for it, so I’ve heard.

    I ran dual boot for a long time on my desktop machine, and I did get weary of the mismatch between my home machine and my work machine. Loved Linux, but it was a real issue.

  4. lizardbrain Says:

    Waaaaaait a second. Does that mean that you think that people with lives losers? (Heh. I love the new xhtml standard: when closing the “em” tag, I always think of it as “anti-em”. What? I gotta take my entertainment where I find it.)

    I finally got off the stick and ordered a working battery for my ancient second-hand Thinkpad (600X), which I bought three years ago. I also upgraded the memory. What would make it really useful on the road, though, is wifi. It’s a dual-boot (W98SE/Mandrake 9x), so I need to upgrade the Linux side.

    I dunno what model you bought, but a quick google (ok, a quick “clusty”) tells me that Ubuntu Linux works very well with a number of models and cards. It includes some non-free (as in libre) drivers.

    I gotta say I’m pretty impressed so far with Ubuntu. I avoided it like the plague for a long time, simply because of the name. (“An African word meaning ‘Humanity to others’.” Wtf does that mean? Could you get any more touchy-feely?) So now I have to eat crow and admit that my prejudice was stupid.

    People are always “checking up” on me for some reason. Like the shrink who wanted to know if I’d gotten rid of my guns. Or when I was a teenager, my mom wanting to know what I was doing in the bathroom for so long.

  5. lizardbrain Says:

    Dang WordPress.

    The second sentence above contained a “less than or equal to” sign, and it was stripped out. Let’s see if I can escape it:

    Does that mean that you think that people with lives ‘

  6. lizardbrain Says:

    Woops. That escaped everything after the first single quote.

    Does that mean that you think that people with lives \

  7. lizardbrain Says:

    Hm. It may not be worth the ocd aggravation. Here’s how it should have read:

    “Does that mean that you think that people with lives less than or equal to meaningless are losers?”

    Well, it would have sounded better had it worked the first time. And if the stupid blog software hadn’t stripped out the geek talk.

  8. bronxblog Says:

    get help

  9. bronxblog Says:

    haha

  10. bronxblog Says:

    b.t.w. I told Mom on you…..

  11. wharton70 Says:

    Perhaps having these handy will help:

    The Dog Ate My Homework,
    My Goldfish Got Sick…..
    The Cat Ran Away,
    My Car Wouldn’t Start/ I Locked My Keys In The Car,
    My Turtle Got Conjunctivitis

    (under the heading: Payback is a B*%$#)

  12. lizardbrain Says:

    A world-class whiner would never use a terse phrase when he has the opportunity to write an 850-word exposition on why it’s absolutely impossible for him to have lived up to his responsibilities. One must first fill in the background. Paint the larger picture, so to speak. Then carefully and point-by-point establish that something or someone else — or, best of all, an act of God — is to blame for one’s non-performance. The conclusion should then include a groveling appeal for sympathy.

    Or maybe that’s why my teachers always rolled their eyes and told me to just shut up and sit down.

    Besides, the dust mites clogged my hard drive.

    (btw: still keeping those “normal” hours, I see)

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