THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
Saturday, June 16, 2001
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the monthly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 4,000 - 7,000 words, depending. For more on what this place is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE.
|Previous Weeks of The View:||For an index
of previous pages of view, see VIEWDEX.
See also the New Order page, which tries to make order of chaos. These will be useful.
For the rest, see What is this place? for some details on where you have got to.
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For the BYTE story, click here.
The LINUX pages are organized as the log, my queries, and your responses and advice parts one, two, three, and four. There's four pages because I try to keep download times well under a minute. There are new updates to four.
Highlights this week:
APril 26, 1999
Not the best day. I thought we were done with termites, but it turns out we are done with dry wall termites. Now it's another 2 grand for burrowing termites. After that, I suppose they will discover another variety not covered by the contracts...
And the dog has to go to the vet (checkup only, he should be fine) and my sore throat and sinus pains are back; the antibiotics knocked them off for a couple of weeks, but once I ran out of the pills, the pains are back. Bother. So that will take up more of the day.
But with luck we'll build an Intel P III this month. Now to work. Work's never done unless you do it...
For ATI drivers see last week's mail. Especially for Rage Pro video built into motherboards.
Evening. I got my pneumonia shot today. My arm is killing me, and I have about all the debilitating symptoms of walking pneumonia. It has GOT to get better. And meanwhile I have an Intellectual Capital column to write.
And Bob Thompson has found a way to search this site. Hurrah.
April 27, 1999
The sinus infections are really really bad. Pressues like in a submarine. no sleep. Am late with Intellectual Capital column. No fun. I do seem to be recovering with serious antibiotics, but why this thing almost went away and came back again I don't know. I hope I'm not going to have to go back to the IV drip to knock this down. I'm also going to see a dentist to be sure I don't have sme abcess in there that's feeding all this.
Anyway I am not getting much done beyond staying alive.
I did manage to finish the Max 2 scenario that so annoyed me, and it turns out there's a better strategy than the one I was using. I didn't have to reduce that fortress to win... There are part of Max 2 I like a lot. But the lack of a serious bomber is a problem.
I'm feeling a little better but not much. Sinus infections are no fun.
April 28, 1999
I thought I was past the illegal operations problems with Max2, but I'm not. Although I got past this point before, there's one place in one scenario where the system reliably crashes. I suppose what I have to do is not stack too many operations at once; but you would think that a game wouldn't run out of resources on a Pentium II with 256 megs main memory and many gigabytes of virtual. Interplay needs to get their act together. This is silly. I used to have that problem with This Means War -- in fact that game was a good test of system integrity -- but larger and faster machines with more memory cured that problem. This time, though, we seem to be locked into a crash mode. I'll have to throw away that saved game. But I do wish Interplay would clean this mess up. I've already downloaded a patch. They need another.
Interplay's Max2: That is one BADLY misbehaving game. Why do companies DO this? It's not as if they haven't had time to play test it or fix it. I suppose they no longer care. It didn't make best seller status, so they feel no obligation to make it work properly. Is that the new game philsophy? Release it with bugs and fix only the most popular? That I would think has some built in risks, no? This Means War, for example, was really a neat game, but it never caught on in large part because of all the bugs...
Maybe I should start a new award: wannabe but too buggy program of the month...
I managed to write an Intellectual Capital, pay the bills, and get through the night. This morning I am precisely where I was Monday morning: sore throat, stuffy head, but not so miserable I can't work. Let's hope the Cephalexin does the job, because if that doesn't work I am I fear back to the drip. Maybe snake oil will work. I've had lots of advice on home remedies, from gallons of water to literal snake oil. A story goes with each one...
Fry's this morning has Pentium III 450 chip and mother board for about $550, and Pentium II chip, motherboard, and case for half that. Staples the other day had a 13 gigabyte Western Digital PLUS an internal IDE Zip drive for $200 (after rebates of about $150). Video cards that used to be top of the line are well under $100 now. Ensonic sound cards are about $20 as are Bay Networks 100 base-T Ethernet cards. A floppy dirve is about $20. CDROM drives range between $25 to maybe $60 for the fastest, and DVD is coming down rapidly. All told you can build a fabulous machine for well under $1000 and Fry's this morning has a 17" ViewSonic monitor for under $300. If you like small computers this is a great time...
Mr. Rice tells me
Anyone who is seriously interested in understanding why Littleton happened should read the articles and followups at Slashdot.com . These are the saddest commentary Ive ever seen on the state of our school system.
But all my attempts have been met with the message that slashdot.org is not responding. I don't think it's my system. Pinging -- (ping slashdot.org) shows that it's functional now, and -- yes, I can reach it now. Must have been doing some uploading. These are as I suspected the JonKatz article and comments, and well worth your attention.
I am getting SERIOUSLY annoyed at Interplay. They don't return messages other than automated "o, we care, we really care, we'll get to you just as soon as we can, we wish you well with a vengeance we do" which come in an endless stream, while Max 2 continues to crash.
I suppose what I can do is simplify: destroy all surplus units so there are fewer objects for the brain dead program to keep track of. What did they develop this on? If a P II with 256 megs won't run it what will??
April 29, 1999
Recovering. Sore throat nearly gone. Heavy cough now. This is getting tiresome. But I got two chapters of the O'reilly hardware book edited last night, so at least some work is being done. I have given up on M.A.X.2 which is just as well. Between crashing, having to lay through extremely boring missions to get to the next mission, and an interface that makes it very easy for your units to fire on each other while ignoring the enemy, this game is not ready for prime time. Which as I say is as well because I am recovered enough to work and not play games...
My Jocks Versus Geeks column is up on www.intellectualcapital.com for the current week. Did that last night too.
Sunny day, and I intend to hike up halfway to Mulholland.
Darnell calls: CMP has just been acquired by Miller Freeman. Interesting. Not unexpected, the heirs have been trying to cash out for some time. I'll have to look into what this does to BYTE.COM, but my guess is not much. Of course I thought that when BYTE.deadtrees was sold too...
I have a number of new subscribers I have not replied to or sent anything to. I will try to remedy that shortly. I haven't been getting much done lately that needed any reall attention. I can concentrate for an hour or so and then it's back to mindless routines...
April 30, 1999
I'm off to the beach and I am not lugging a tower; we will see if I can work Front Page from down there. Probably I can't, in which case it may be a couple of days before I'm back with this page. We will see. I haven't tried this with a laptop before.
I can't tell if the antibiotics are working this time or not. I suppose what will have to happen is I finish this course of them and sss if the sinus stuff is back. I sure hope not.
I am assured that the CMP sale is for the good. Like the Ziff situation, the heirs didn't really want to run the empire they had inherited; in the CMP case they made that clear from the beginning but they also made it clear they weren't selling out for peanuts. I am told the byte.com is considered an important asset. I have worked with the Miller Freeman people when BYTE (McGraw hill) did the PCEXPO show awards and found them competent and knowledgeable.
But it is deja vu all over again.
May 2, 1999
Actually I am back home at Chaos Manor and about to set up a new View page. This is interim update. I should have everything smooth by 5 PM PDT 3 May Monday