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.


gentoo1024×768.jpg

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:


20070530_003a.jpg


A closer look at the forget-me-not:


20070530_007a.jpg


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