lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] minor_architect is proposing to run through [livejournal.com profile] aldersprig and [livejournal.com profile] kc_obrien's follow up 30 Days of Flash Fiction prompts, using them as prompts for haiku. This got me thinking of doing haiku as well. And pondering a maddeningly more common occurrence came again today...

The problem exists
September never-ending
'tween keyboard and chair

If you aren't sure what this is referring to, then review PEBKAC and September that Never Ended.

I don't mind people who are beginners. I mind people who seem either willfully ignorant (and determined to stay that way) or who seem just plain unable to learn from experience.

"Hey, I've tried putting this same username and password in ten times and it keeps saying 'Username or Password is wrong', will it work if I try again? No? How about if I try again?

"Click on the reset password link? Why would I do that? What if I just try putting in the exact same username and password again?"
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Pithani the Librarian Mouse)
You know how in preschool you would get the lesson, "After going potty you need to wash your hands," that your parents first taught you reinforced?

Do we perhaps need an e-commerce preschool in which people can be taught, "After getting a credit card number, make sure you aren't saving it clear-text on a public facing server." And should we not consider companies that make this mistake to still be e-commerce toddlers? Possibly quite cute, but not yet ready to be given serious responsibilities.

Similar lessons being, "Don't store their password, store a hash of the password," and "Use SSL on those login pages, it's good for you."
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Well, it looks like Ubuntu 9.10 doesn't like the wired or wireless networking in my laptop. Spent a while poking at it, then decided to give it one last chance, a clean install instead of an upgrade install. Short answer, even with a clean install there was no sign this machine has networking anywhere but in the log files that reported neither part coming up.

Ah well, no money lost and 9.04 is working just fine. I'm planning on giving Nanowrimo a try this year, so I'm not going to spend the time to try and find a way around this until December at the earliest.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Norton is acting up on my Sister's computer and will be banished as soon as a replacement is picked. Which raises the question, what should it be replaced with? Anyone here on the interwebs have suggestions for alternatives to look at?
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Between the public and the scum a villainy a thin red line separates and prote--

Wait. No. Wrong.

Actually the thin red line is a line that has suddenly appeared on the right side of my laptop's monitor. Running from top to bottom and remaining even after a reboot.

Damn.

Well, I was thinking about whether to get a new computer. But I had intended to wait longer. I'll just have to see how annoying the line is and whether I can live with it a few months while I save up some money.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
So, in a recent tweet (I suppose twit would be the proper shortening of Twitter, but who wants to say that?) I just said:

Apache mod_userdir looks nifty until you write a script that looks at the DocumentRoot's setting. mod_userdir doesn't reset that. :(

Annoying. Annoying. Annoying. And apache.org and Google is failing me in finding an answer. You'd think that when mod_userdir looks in the public_html directory in the home directory that it would set that as the DocumentRoot. Nope. That's left on the default setting.

lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
I know some of you out there are keeping track of your books on your computers. May I ask what software you're using? I have a few hundred several hundred maybe a few thousand books that really need to get inventoried. I've spotted a few duplicates and in the last two months ended up buying at least one duplicate for certain and have another that may or may not be a duplicate.

Maybe if I can get them organized I can even in the process divert a few into a give-away or sell pile.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
As reported on Groklaw and The Register SCO has just lost the SCO vs. Novell case. Which stands to have a devastating effect on them in SCO vs. IBM since it was ruled that Novell and not SCO owns Unix and Unixware.

Really at this point I suspect the only question isn't will SCO lose the IBM case but just how much damage will they take in losing.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
One of the nifty things I've started playing with is a program called pcal. It takes a text file listing events and spits out by default a postscript file with a calendar of the current month. But the interesting thing is the flexibility of the event listing.

For instance here are simple entries:
All odd Fridays Payday!
All Thursdays T.H.E.M.

And here are some more interesting examples:
Weekday on_or_after Apr 15 Taxes Due!
Tue after first Mon in Nov Election today

And let's say THEM decides the third meeting of each month will be replaced by DDR night? That's simple enough to handle:
delete third Thursday in all T.H.E.M.
third Thursday in all Dance Dance Revolution Night

So it looks like I might actually start having and using a calendar. Which means I ought to put things on it. Sure I've got a few weekly and monthly meetings already in my calendar file, and it comes with a holiday file and moon phases files, but I'm sure there are things I ought to have in it.

So if there are any dates you think I should track just hit reply. Birthdays, upcoming events (I think I might start a calendar file for book release dates), anniversaries of important events, or anything of interest.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
After removing the crowded hard drive on my laptop and putting in a nice roomy one, I set the laptop up to dual boot Windows and Linux. I was running Linux on one of my desktop machines before the motherboard on it died without warning. I liked it then, but I'm liking this new distribution even better. It helps that I'd already changed over to FireFox as my default browser, so all I had to do was copy over and import my bookmarks for that. But I can really see myself spending much of my time booted into Linux. The only thing I *have* to switch over to Windows for currently is viewing DVDs.

I'll have to take another look in a week and a month and see how I feel then, but I'm feeling good about having installed it now. It's got this over a year old $500 special laptop running pretty smoothly.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
While reading a comment to an entry on Tim Bray's blog a ran across a link to a product called Quantrix Modeler and it struck me just how old fashioned Excel is. I'm old enough to have actually tinkered with VisiCalc on an Apple //e. VisiCalc, as in The First Spreadsheet Software. Until tonight I would have said that Excel, OO.org Calc, and Quattro Pro were much more advanced products than VisiCalc was. However, if you went back to the early 80's in your time traveling phone booth and grabbed someone who worked with VisiCalc and put a computer in front of them running one of today's spreadsheets, they wouldn't need much retraining.

The spreadsheet software you find in current office suites is still pretty much a series of numbered rows and letter labeled columns. In fact the only thing I can recall ever stumbling over during the years was switching between how to signify a range (A1..B2 vs. A1:B2). What impressed me when I viewed the product tour on the Quantrix web site was that they did away with this. The initial blank worksheet was a one column, one row, one cell sheet. Only instead of fixating on rows and columns they were referred to as categories. They start as A and B, but you start by giving them meaningful names. So in the tour they name one Quarter and the other Type and label the first Quarter column Q1 and the first Type row Sedan. So that one single cell isn't A1 or B2, but Quarter 1 Sedan. That was only the first of two things that impressed me. The other is probably easier to see in the video than explain in words. It was kind of like Excel's pivot table feature, but built in as a core feature rather than bolted on.

If you do much of any work at all with spreadsheets I suggest going to the site and viewing the tour. I suspect like me you'll find yourself thinking that Excel, Calc, and Quatro Pro may be complex, but it's hard to say they are much more advanced that the old spreadsheets. Okay, so they've got built in software for drawing charts, and a good many more built in mathematical functions, but can you put together a sales projection for four types of cars in three regions quarterly across three years using only four formulas?

The downside is that even the cheap version of Quantrix is over $300. I predict two things. First, assuming there isn't one that I just haven't heard of yet, at some point an open source version is going to show up and get the kind of attention Open Office is getting now. Second, at some point Microsoft will either replace Excel with something that is similar (probably keeping the Excel name) or introduce something like it without replacing Excel. Funny thing is, the Quantrix people pretty much brag about aiming for the professional financial analyst market. Even making a comment about how it doesn't make sense to try to have a one size fits all solution for balancing family budgets and guiding multinational corporations. Yet if Microsoft introduces something similar I suspect they'll target it at small businesses and the 'homeowner' market. "Big huge spreadsheets are for accountants and mathematicians. You don't have time for that. Use new MS UberSheet it works with you not against you." Probably complete with cute little illustrations of paper worksheets with household budgets pointing out how, "You don't use A1 and B5 here, why should you have to do so on the computer?"
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Actually I'm not too blue. But it's taken much of the day to backup files, backup more files, then swap out hard drives. I do at least have a bigger and speedier hard drive for the price of losing a day's worth of goofing off. I'll probably spread out the reinstalling of things over the rest of the week.

It also means that I have enough drive space to get this laptop dual booting XP and Linux. Ooh, look, free progamming and creative tools.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Nope not a clue. Certainly not that it's 1:30 am and I am still on the computer. Nope. Can't be it. Must be sleepiness fairies. Or someone sneaking caffeine free soda into the machines at work.

On the other hand, turns out the new versions of Ghost still include a copy of the old corporate edition Ghost 8.2 on the recovery CD's, allowing you to burn an image without ever installing anything. :) It loaded up with an announcement that CD/DVD burning support wasn't active, but it was perfectly happy to send a set of image files over to my external hard drive. Hoorah. Now I'll feel much freer to play with things. (Who would have imagined a 40gig drive takes longer to image than a 6gig drive. Even when sending the image files to a hard drive rather than cd's (yeah, my old desktop machine only has a cd burner in it))

Oh well, off finally to bed now.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)





You are Apple OS X. You are beautiful, stable, and a catgirl. It’s no wonder people love you. It's sometimes a little annoying that so many people stick with the obviously inferior Windows, but since you know you’re better, you don't let it bother you much.





But I don't think I could pull off such a skimpy outfit... Not even for halloween. (I am NOT dressing up as man-Faye)
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Anyone know where we could find a cheap no-frills monitor? Something that does at least VGA, but is in the 12" range?
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
I'd just like to take a moment to say that Greasemonkey rocks. Especially when it lets you fix something you don't like on a website without needing to yell at the webmaster.

Yay Greasemonkey!

One more reason Firefox beats IE.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Anyone using the current version of Ghost? I was surprised when I started seeing customer reviews with very unhappy comments, and then I discovered that it's no longer using the same engine underneath. It seems that Ghost 2003 was the last version of the old Ghost, symantic apparently bought out another company that had a drive imaging program and simply renamed the next version of that Ghost.

On the plus side the new Ghost appears to have good support for usb and firewire hard drives and burners.

On the down side it now runs from within windows, which means if you want to image the boot drive you are running from the same drive you are scanning. Which just doesn't sound to me like a recipe for good accurate images.

So is anyone on here using a current version of Ghost or have used it and have an opinion of whether it is still worth buying? Or would my money be better spend keeping my copy of Ghost 2000(2001?) and putting an internal DVD burner in this laptop instead?

Ghost came in quite handy on my old desktop machine, but the laptop has a 40 gig drive. That would be quite a stack of CD's. But I liked knowing that if something went crazy I could always just pop in the CD's and re-image the box. The laptop is, I believe, starting to be asking for a fresh install of windows. (And if I'm wiping the drive clean, I might as well partition it and put linux on too)
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Anyone like the defrag program that comes with windows?

Seems to me it's slow (just spent three and a half hours watching the percentage complete slowly climb), doesn't seem to have the smarts of the first defrag program I used back on a 286 machine, and while it may defrag the files it leaves them scattered across the drive.

Anyone have suggestions on a replacement?

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lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
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