Archive for June, 2007

Compulsions and Consequences

9 June 2007

With some people, it’s Val-U-Rite Vodka. Let ’em get into a bottle and the local hobo population starts to decline. For me, it’s computers. Every so often, despite my best intentions, I go on a geek binge. I forget to eat and sleep, housework is ignored, and I frequently unplug my phone to keep from being torn away from my keyboard. And the Windoze boxes: they start to disappear.

My current binge started last weekend, when I got the bright idea that I could just sort of start to install the Gentoo Linux distribution on the 40GB hard drive I took out of my old W98 box. (“I can have just one and stop.”)

I’ve tried and failed to install Gentoo in the past. I tried it with an old, slow Pentium III over a dialup connection; that one was doomed to failure from the start. More recently, I downloaded several live cds, with evolving versions of the graphical installer. Those were all disasters. The first one toasted the Windoze partitions on a box that was supposed to be a dual-boot machine. It took me six hours with a disaster-recovery set to fix that. The last two installed and ran ok, but failed to boot after updating.

This time I installed Gentoo the way God intended: a minimal install, downloading and compiling everything from scratch, including the kernel. It’s taken me six days to get here, but I’m posting this from my shiny new Gentoo box.


Gentoo Linux

Not that everything’s all lollipops and rainbows now (darn you, Nice Deb!). After spending all day on Flash and sound issues in the GUI, I barely have a usable computer. I still have to add an office suite, music player/manager, image viewing and manipulating programs and utilities and a whole lotta other stuff that I use on a daily basis. But now I’m getting impatient to make the move from the old Mandriva box. I won’t do that until I get most everything else installed and I’m ready to start using this box to manage my email. I can see the end, though, and it’s gonna happen soon.

Drugs and alcohol used to go straight to my brain, directly activating my pleasure circuitry. A little felt good, and produced a compulsion for a lot more. I get a similar feeling these days from working through a geek problem and learning something. I get a tickle deep in my brain that compels me to seek more! more! more! until I collapse in a sweat-drenched heap beside my desk and wake up the next day with a horrible geek-fueled hangover.

And I don’t know what happened to those Windoze boxes. What? Just ignore the beeping noises you think you hear coming from the crawl space; there’s nothing there at all.


Comment Confusion

8 June 2007

And the confusion is all mine.

Bringing my main computer back up last night after a couple of days of being offline for maintenance, I was faced with almost 500 comments flagged by Akismet as spam. Being the conscientious administrator that I am, I waded through every one of those comments to make sure none of them had been unfairly flagged.

Unfortunately, I was tired; so at the end of the process, instead of hitting the “de-spam marked comments” button, I hit the “delete all comments” button.

My apologies if I deleted a real comment. In particular, I’m thinking of a pair of comments about the Saco River that I wanted to take a closer look at before I stupidly deleted them. If you haven’t given up in disgust, please try again. Comments on this blog are rare enough that I can ill afford to lose any.

Complementary Colors

5 June 2007

The sort-of orange of the azalea and the sort-of blue of the forget-me-not:


A closer look at the forget-me-not:


I never noticed before that the forget-me-not have little yellow suns with white rays in the middle of the sky-blue flower.