Friday, July 11, 2008

It's harrowing to be a rider...

Okay, first time in a long time, rode backseat while the parents drove (their new vehicle). Yikes! White-knuckle, for opposite reasons.
Don't recall it being like that before. Then again, the world used to be larger, too.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Microsoft, Patch Tuesday, Windows Vista, Freaking out

It's "Patch Tuesday" again; ho-hum... Do the "dumb-user" thing and accept the default updates to the Windows Vista installation.

Restart; OH NO! Get this black screen with Registry stuff in it! Drive light is going balls-to-the-walls... what do I do?

Think about it; Microsoft wouldn't put a patch out that would break your machine, now would they (doh!)? Assume that this is a part of the process and let it finish...

Whew! Another restart, see the "Part 3 of 3; do not turn off your computer" notice (why didn't that put that in the other screen?), and we're back!

Again, like the Dell thing, did they assume that people would know not to touch the power button, like if Windows "hung?" C'mon, folks! You're supposed to be smarter than us and anticipate that stuff!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 LTS "Hardy Heron"

Been thinking about doing this for awhile; installing Ubuntu 8.04 LTS aka "Hardy Heron."

Stepping through this for my own information, especially considering the time it has already been out. The "bleeding-edge" folks are already well into this, and the conservatives may not even be looking.

To begin:
1. Downloaded an ISO from the Ubuntu site; burned the CD (standard stuff).

2. Fetched a notebook that had "Gutsy Gibbon" installed on it; not using it, so it is a good testbed.

3. Insert CD into drive, check to be sure that it will boot

4. The trials begin... checking the system

5. Starting up...

6. First appearance of the "Hardy Heron;" ain't it a purty-birdy?

7. Setting primary language

8. Setting system time; didn't have Honolulu on the list, so I had to hunt for and click on a dot in the middle of the Pacific. Have any idea how painful that can be with my old eyes?

9. Setting base keyboard input...

10. Selecting the installation partition; I chose to blow away my existing install...

11. Machine and user info collection...

12. There is a "Ready to Install" screen here, but it has some info I do not wish to reveal (sorry!)...

13. Partition going in; no turning back now!

14. The build continues...

15. Building done; Restart!

16. OMG! What the hell is this? Cold-start...

17. Ah! There it is!

18. Initial updates...

19. Done!

Tried to install ClamAV for Debian; not simple. Not that I would get anything myself, but I am a firm believer in "not being a part of the problem" by not being a "Typhoid Mary" type and relaying problems to those that are susceptible.

Now, if only Firefox 3.0 on Ubuntu had better colorspace management...

Dell is SO helpful (NOT!)

For those that have a Dell system, you probably know about the Dell Support Center. Gives you "helpful" hints, system alerts, etc.

Got a notice that there was an "Urgent" upgrade for the hard drive firmware (the hard drives local operating system). This is for my system drive; gut-check. Okay, we've done this before; download the right file, unpack it, read the instructions, install. Easy, right? Uh huh. Download the file, unpack it. No instructions. Check the site; it says to read the instructions contained in the download. Hmmm.

I am supposed to be a "knowledgeable" IT guy; I can do this! Don't need no stinkin' instructions! Plus, I'm a guy, so.... Create the CD from ISO, boot from the CD, it runs, and... OMG! "No recognizable boot device"!!! I can't start my system! Think, think, think! Try it again! Run the executable manually this time...

Hey, maybe if I shutdown and do a "cold-boot"... Voila! I have my system drive back!

I'm getting too old for this... What do the non-technical users do? I am thinking that it would be a bad time to call Dell about now; didn't want to talk to India anyway.

[edit: I should note that the fact they sent a notification out at all is helpful. They need to work on the execution, though, especially when it affects something that can permanently disable your system.]

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th, America!

Remember why you are here... and don't forget those that fight to keep things that way.

Happy Independence Day, America!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Nikon D700 has been announced! The...

Okay, breathe.

Actually, already have the D300, so I can wait.

But "wide" is nice!

Don't do posters, rarely print, so megapixels don't count. Much. Okay, maybe for the occasional crop.

But "wide" is good!

To make it right, I would have to get the body, plus at least one lens on the ultra-wide end, say, the 14-24mm f2.8... That would put me out around $5K. Ouch.

But "wide" is sooo good!

And the SB-900... $500!!!