THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 285 November 24 - 30, 2003
THIS is the CURRENT View.
Highlights this week:
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. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here.
If you are not paying for this place, click here...
For Previous Weeks of the View, SEE VIEW HOME PAGE
Search: type in string and press return.
If you have no idea what you are doing here, see the What is this place?, which tries to make order of chaos.
If you intend to send MAIL to me, see the INSTRUCTIONS.
If you subscribed:
If you didn't and haven't, why not?
For the BYTE story, click here.
The freefind search remains:
November 24, 2003
Over the weekend we had several discussions of some importance, and I can recommend starting Mail with Saturday. It will take a while to catch up, but there are some good letters and I made a lot of comments.
There were also a few relevant remarks and a short opera review in the Saturday View.
Today I got:
Not that I have any dislike of Apple, I found this to be interesting, if not very funny:
I only sent this to you since you mentioned the iPod in your 11/17 Byte column.
Which was interesting as humor -- I presume it isn't true -- but also because of the difficulties I had in viewing this little Quicktime Movie. I first went to that page and saw nothing but a head count and a button for downloading Quicktime. I was pretty sure I had Quicktime on this machine, but OK, let's install it. Things happened and I thought I had installed it, but in fact I clearly had not, and I still could not see the Dirty Secret movie. Eventually I reset the machine. The next time I went to that page I was again told I needed to install Quicktime, but this time it installed. There was some hoohaw about registration numbers but I left that blank and it all installed anyway. I still couldn't see the movie, so again I opened the page ( http://www.ipodsdirtysecret.com/ ) and Lo! the movie played. Very interesting. But I sure had to be determined.
To the people who are wailing about their
"unreplaceable battery" and the "$255 repair fee" allow me to suggest this:
I think the advice is obvious. Thanks. I'll take the policy when I buy my iPod... Still, why non-replaceable batteries? I thought that was a joke but I guess not. Roland adds:
which is worth a look. But in fact there is another and possibly much better alternative.
The slaughter continues in Iraq: we are up to two troopers a day now. This is still not many casualties for a war, but we don't act much like a nation at war except for the TSA which acts in the same stupid way war or not, a security bureaucracy, which like most bureaucracies isn't very good at anything but hiring and paying its own workers. I don't want to think about that just now; but any intelligent person could come up with better ways to protect us from having passenger airplanes taken over and used as cruise missiles against our cities, or from being hijacked in the first place for that matter: by better I mean at least as effective as TSA at present, and a lot cheaper. As to protecting us from suicide bombers who want to take out an airplane, that's not so easy if there are determined people who want to do it: we do need protection from idiot attacks of that kind. Is TSA effective at that?
With incidents like those over the weekend, with mutilation of our troopers, the Army will increasingly take matters into its own hands and use the Israeli tactics: which won't work any better for us than they have for the IDF in pacifying Palestine, but you have to let the troops kill some enemies and lay waste to some of their towns from time to time, and I don't mean that as cynically as it sounds. Taking the war to the enemy is not often a good idea in these situations. *Unless*: unless you act as if the enemy is not human, and you really carry out repression on a vast scale.
I point out that Saddam kept Mesopotamia pacified. As did the Turks.
And there is a letter about Microwave Thermal Rockets for those interested in space access.
I have a lot of mail about economics, job exports, tariff, and so forth: it will all go into a mail section soon when I can add my own thoughts. For now, I have work to do, and surely there is enough to occupy everyone...
On spam rage
I solemnly swear I will never vote to convict anyone of any crime if the victim is proven to be a mass spammer.
Send him to jail for five years! He is interfering with free speech! Viva Spam! We have a right to spam!
The object of the Californian's anger was Douglas Mackay, president of DM Contact Management, which works for Albion Medical, a firm advertising the "Only Reliable, Medically Approved Penis Enhancement."
Poor baby! But he will get justice now as his victim gets 5 years. The Prison Guards Union needs prisoners.
I probably ought to get to work.
|This week:||Tuesday, November
It's late. I'll catch up on mail when I can. We have a house guest who leaves shortly and I am then off to Glendale to buy a 15" Mac with the new OS...
I am also doing the final drafting of BURNING TOWER which is really interesting and I keep reading the book rather than working on it.
And otherwise it's just busy here.
November 26, 2003
I have the new 15" Mac. The Glendale Galleria store assured me it had the new OS, but it didn't. I am now installing the new version but the fact that they lied to me doesn't get me off on a very good start.
The sales girl knew less about Apples than the average Fry's employee, and I mean that seriously. The full story goes in the column, but every time I asked a question, she would go off to the back room for five minutes and then come back; why whoever it was in the back room didn't come out and talk to me is not known to me.
I spent a lot of money and got no instruction and help. None whatever. There may be competent people at the Glendale Galleria Apple store, but I met none of them.
There were a number of stumbles in setting this up, but it appears to be working fine now. It's a handsome machine. There are NO lights: nothing to indicate that it is on, no Ethernet light, no drive lights; you must Have Faith that things are working as they are supposed to work, because the machine isn't really set up to tell you what it is doing other than through software.
This site looks pretty good on the Mac. It was easy to get to. And Peter is right, things are either easy or impossible.
I have an XCODE disk and Disk 3 of the New OS that have not been used; the machine hasn't asked for them. Later I'll get up the nerve to insert Disk 3 of the new OS and see what happens.
I am collecting software for the Mac. I confess I like it so far even if the store experience was not good. Friday there is a big iPod announcement and I will wait for that for the iPod; I also need to get the camera.
Morning. It's still working.
I am installing whatever is on Disk Three of the OS, after which I'll put in XCODE. There are 70 gigabytes on the disk, and even after archiving the old OS and installing the new one (that the store assured me was already on the machine; why I had to do that is a mystery, or perhaps not) there is plenty of disk room left.
The installation is painless enough, and the instructions are clear. I get fonts and the opportunity for more Epson Printer drivers. I suppose I should put them on, since on day I may confront an Epson printer...
One thing I expect from Windows is when I connect a new device like the Belkin 6-way card reader to read the photo cards, Windows see the USB device and uses it. I have had no success at all in getting the PowerBook to believe there is anything at all plugged into the USB, and I fear I have long lost the driver disk that came with it, since Windows never needed it. I'll have to figure out how to do this, because one reason for a PowerBook is to collect photos and such like. For the moment, it's Windows Only if I want to read my camera memory cards.
I don't need any drivers in order to read cards on my
Macs, it just sees the card when I insert it and mounts it on the desktop
Which prompted me to do the following:
THAT produced a dialog box that wants to install iPhoto and after breakfast I will probably do that. But if there was any way to make the machine realize there was a device plugged into the USB port other than doing it in this, to me noninuitive, way, I do not know.
The learning experience continues. Roland says:
In other words, the event which will trigger
something visual is not the installation of the reader itself (an empty
reader being essentially useless), but rather the -insertion of media-
into the reader (which then makes the media appear; note that the reader
itself has no value, and therefore there is no 'device icon' for it,
merely for the media).
Which is comprehensible, if not yet intuitive. As to why it didn't work the first time when I did it that way, perhaps I didn't wait long enough, since that seems to work now:
If you haven't already done so, put a storage card
into the card reader while it is plugged into the Mac. I have a imation USB
reader and it doesn't appear on the desktop until you put a card into the
reader. So far every USB device I've connected to my PowerBook just works.
Which in fact I thought I had already done; that works now, but didn't the first time. That is, I plugged in the device, then inserted a card, and nothing happened. Maybe it had to see the device first? That makes no sense. Possibly I did not wait long enough after inserting the card. In any event, it all works fine now, and iPhoto is cool.
Now for breakfast, after which I need to figure out how to get the pictures from the PowerBook over here to this machine which has FrontPage so I can put up some pictures of Sable and the New Mac.
CONTEST: a name for the PowerBook. Name suggestions will be collected here.
Dave Colton brings us this:
Quoting from RealClear Politics re Iowa debates:
Well, you cannot join a Mac OSX system to a Windows Active Directory. I have spent the afternoon at trying. I have made certain I know the name of the Forest (which no Windows machine has ever asked for). I have made sure I have the domain name. I have made certain I know the account of the network administrator, including capitalizations. I have made certain I know the password.
The result every time is that Mac OS X says the user name and password do not agree. I have tried resetting my main server for the Active Directory. I have tried evil and potent magic. I have logged on to the main server as administrator to test the password and spelling of the account name.
The Forest Name, I find, is the same name as the first domain within the forest; this is the way Windows does that, I find after spending more time reading about this confusion than I intended. None of this matters to Mac OS X which simply is not doing this right.
I even went to the Windows Domain and created a new Administrator account with a password. I can log in to the domain using that name and password; I have tested it and--
AHAHAHAHAHAHA! I have to make the Administrator all kinds of administrators, DHCP Admin and DNS Admin, and the default Administrator account, while powerful enough to create such a super administrator, is not powerful enough for Mac OS X! But having created that guy (note that the error message said user name and password didn't match, not that the administrator wasn't powerful enough!!) I can I think get there. At least it is offering me choices. Stand by...
Still no success but closer. You must reset the Mac several times during this operation.
I do these silly things so you don't have to, but let me instantly say, if you want to get your Mac integrated with a Microsoft Active Directory server, prepare to spend a day and perhaps longer. Although I may be able to shorten that process for you. And Mac OS X has some fairly serious disconnects between what it is doing and what it thinks it is doing. More on that later.
Well, the Windows system can now see Ariadne (the Mac 15). I can't get to it because I don't have the proper permissions. Slowly we spiral in on it, but it is not easy. When I logged on to the Mac as Jerry Pournelle I was told I couldn't log on, but then the system went on and acted as if I were logged on. You tell me what that means.
And this from Scott Anderson:
Slowly we creep onto this. I think I need to create a user account on the Mac that is on ariadne.chaosmanor.jerrypournelle.com and use Active Directory to create that account in Chaosmanor and then we may be there.
Aleta of X-COR says of LOSCON (Burbank Airport Hilton Friday-Sunday)
I knew him fairly well. He was probably best known for his scholarship of Ezra Pound, but I knew him as a Joyce scholar and book reviewer. We used to talk a lot in the old BIX days. We'd sort of lost touch over the past few years, but it was good to know he existed.
I'll miss him. There was an obituary, rather large, in this morning's Los Angeles Times, and I didn't quite bring myself to write this after I read it.
And Joanne Dow, who also knew him, says:
Hugh passed away died Monday AM. May he rest in peace.
I'll miss him. Even knowing he was in the world helped me think of the world as a warm and fuzzy place.
If you KNOW something about connecting a Mac to a Windows Active Directory system, please advise me on what the magic tricks are. Baby talk would help. But please don't speculate. I can do that.
Also, I have two accounts on the Mac. One, the original account, has some photographs in it. The other account can't find those photos. How the daylight do you manage to have two Mac users be able to get at the same files? It seems to be a mystery, one I can probably puzzle out from books, but odd none the less.
I find it all pretty mysterious.
One thing: I have given up reading letters that start off telling me about Windoze and such like. I am sure some of them have interesting content, but I have too often spent too much time hoping to learn something about the Mac only to to find I am really reading a critique of Windows that doesn't tell me what to do to solve my problems.
November 27, 2003
Happy Thanksgiving, America
God Bless our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen
O Trinity of love and power,
I can copy files to the Users/Shared folder, but the problem is that this folder is not visible on the network. I need to be able to put things into the MacJerry user system, since that is the only thing that the Windows Network can see, because that user name and password are the only ones that the Mac will accept. MacJerry is not the root user. The root user doesn't seem to be accessible to sharing.
And yes, believe me, I have gone to Apple/System Preferences and turned on sharing. That doesn't help. I can get to MacJerry through the network. I can't get to anything else. But MacJerry isn't the way I normally use the Mac, and anything I do elsewhere doesn't get to MacJerry nor do things I put in MacJerry seem to be visible to anyone else.
Nor do I want lectures on how I am mentally contaminated by years of use of Windoze and if I only had the brains of a quagga I would understand the superiority of the Mac system which doesn't have drive letters and file storage under folders and so forth. I will stipulate that this may be wonderful, but for the moment it is driving me nuts.
Perhaps I can now as MacJerry copy things from the Users/Shared files into the MacJerry file and thus get things from the root user to MacJerry. This seems needlessly complex but when, as root user with all administrative privileges, I tried to copy those files from the Jerry Pournelle (root user) -- what? Directory? Folder? -- to MacJerry I was told I didn't have sufficient privileges to see the results of this operation, and then that the operation had failed for unspecified reasons. This didn't help a lot. It may be that iPicture or whatever it is I was using to view the pictures as root user hasn't been properly installed for use by MacJerry and I'll have to do that so that I can copy the picture files? All I really know is that there are pictures on the Mac in jpg format that I cannot get over to the Windows system so that I can put them up here, and I have been trying to do that simple task for about 6 hours of actual time and 20 hours of elapsed time.
I am probably enormously stupid, but this Mac system seems designed to defeat me. It also went out and got a name, Paqgirl, and named itself that: this is the name of a computer last on the Windows Active Directory system about a year ago, and has long since been removed. Apparently when I was bringing up the Mac with OS X which I had to reinstall, it went to DHCP and got an address; it also got the name associated with the last use of that address and naively allowed Windows to tell it that its new name was Paqgirl, which is NOT the name intended for this machine. She's naive, this girl is, so Ariadne fits better than I knew.
I STILL see small residuals of Paqgirl in share names here. And I have spent all the time I had intended to use having fun with this system trying to get some pictures from it over to the Windows system; without success. Clearly I could have just moved the card reader to the Windows system and read them, and moved them from user to user and machine to machine, but I wanted to try to learn the Mac Way. So far I haven't, and it has not been much fun, and the lectures about my being mentally contaminated by Windoze have not made the experience more pleasant.
Another question: is the only way you can have multiple users have access to programs and files to put them in "Shared"????
It seems I am not alone with my problems here:
Enough on the Mac for the weekend. The Internet isn't working very well either: I can't even get to Google more than one try in five, most of my system seems to be slowed to a crawl as soon as net access is needed. Some of it works, so it can't be anything here, but getting to some places is slow and getting to some others is impossible. Probably Adelphia has something broken. But of course when that's happening it makes it hard to work with anything new that I don't entirely understand.
And Outlook has got so complicated that when someone sends me mail with tiny little text I don't know how to make it bigger. I can of course find it, with some effort, but after a while the frustration level is just too high to bother. Please send mail in normal size. It really doesn't save paper to send text in tiny letters.
It will take me a while to post this. I can't connect ftp anywhere without about 10 tries. The Internet is really really slow.
Most of the story goes in the column. I can, thanks to Thursby Admitmac, a third party program, get the Mac to see the Windows Network. For the moment it isn't going the other way, and resetting the system hasn't changed that. That is, the Mac sees the machines on the Windows network and can get at their files, but Windows, while it sees that the Mac exists, can't connect to it.
That's rather interesting, because AdmitMac requires me to turn off the Mac Windows Sharing system: and with that off, apparently Windows can't see the Mac. But if I turn that on, then the AdmitMac system doesn't work and the Mac doesn't see the Windows systems.
It will all be in the column, and with luck all sorted out with a happy ending. We can hope anyway.
Enough on the Mac. It's handsome and well made and some things work very well, but apparently my problems with Active Directory are a flaw in the newest Mac OS X software: it was not easy to connect to a Windows Active Directory with the previous version, but it was possible if you knew exactly what you were doing: with the latest Mac OS X, it's not even possible without a third party program like Admitmac. Ah well.
November 29, 2003
With with family and LosCON and other such stuff, I've more or less taken the day off.
Bush flew to Iraq to cheer up the troops and show national commitment. No big performance the way Hope did, so the number of troops who had actual contact was small, but the experts were concerned about the security aspects: all of Iraq is still a combat zone, and our security experts are confused. We'll go into why another time.
It was a noble gesture, and in keeping with this President's beliefs. Right or wrong he sees himself as destined to lead the world against the terrorists. We can have a critique of his methods another time.
The Constitution contemplated that the President as Commander in Chief would be the Commander in Chief, and might take the field as leader of the Grand Army of the Republic. That never happened, but the provision is there, and sharing at least some of the dangers and discomforts of war has long been recognized as one of the demands put on command. Aurelius used to camp with his troops on campaign. George Washington was at Valley Forge, and yes, he had a house while most of the troops had inadequate tents, but there were few of his soldiers who would have objected to that; as few troopers in Iraq will begrudge the President the heightened security his advisors thought necessary for this trip.
Of the Democrats, the only one who seems to have understood and acted appropriately was Hillary Clinton, who comes off better in this affair than any of her rivals. They sound like small carpers unable to resist taking a cheap shot. I've found, by and large, that doing the right thing is often the right thing to do.
November 30, 2003
This will be a busy day. LosCON, some cleanup work, and the opera tonight.
Richard and Frank have been here and each brought a dog. Sable likes company but she's protective of her possessions. No one has been hurt barring a few nips and lots of growls. They've sorted themselves out, but it makes for interesting times.
We did solve the puzzle of getting the Mac into the Windows Active Directory domain. It required a third party program called AdmitMac from Thursby. I now have mail indicating another way. I have a lot more mail on this subject which I will post in due time, but the simple answer to how to connect a new Panther OS X Mac to a Windows Active Directory Domain is: Buy AdmitMac from Thursby and pay careful attention to the instructions. It doesn't hurt to have a wizard like Roland Dobbins on standby.
UNIX has always been the wizard full employment act. I don't see that changing very soon. The Mac more or less hides UNIX some of its philosophy shines through. Now that we have cleared away the rubbish -- apparently the new Panther OS does have some glitches that were not in the previous -- we can get down to looking at the Mac and its actual uses.
One question: does anyone else have the experience Glaskowsky had of key images ending up as permanent marks on the screen through failure to put any kind of separator between keys and screen when closing the PowerBook Mac? Peter now religiously puts a separator in there. It's a fair amount of work to do this and remember to do it and keep the separator, so I would prefer not to have to do that, but does it prevent something I really don't want to happen?
I will never vote to convict any person of any assault perpetrated on the person of a spammer, particularly the spammers for p.e.nis en.large.ment remedies and the clever boors who use random names and subjects to advertise their wares. There will be no remedy to Spam until personal and painful things happen publicly to a number of spammers. This is a form of plague that governments can't remedy without having cures worse than the disease. I don't want an anti-spam bureaucracy, I want tar and feathers, followed by a trial for assault against those who used the tar and feathers. A jury trial with all the victims of the spammer allowed to provide evidence. (Clearly written after about 25 spam messages cleverly designed to get past my filters. I really dislike the people who are doing this.)
November 30, 2003 Advent Sunday
I am off to bloviate and sign books. Mail later but here's the situation:
The Mac is fully integrated into the network here. The Mac security is a bit insane: even though I am logged in as the main administrative user, I have to give the password -- the same one I used to log in -- every time I want to DO anything about changing preferences or networking or whatever. There is probably a point to that, but if someone has physical access to my system, and is logged in as me, and knew the password to get in as me, perhaps they would not forget that password easily? The Tablet PC requires me to log in every time it goes to sleep, which is sensible, and that I would agree with on the Mac, but requiring the password (it already knows the user name) every time I want to do something new seems needless. Perhaps not. I need to think on this.
Anyway I have the Mac going and now I need to DO things with it. Cool stuff in particular.
(1) A way easily to get URL's from mail I get here in Outlook 2003 on the Windows system over into the Mac so that I can use it to go download recommended stuff. I can save in a text file and copy the text file and that may be the only way to do it.
(2) Recommendations for Mac software I ought to have for Ariadne, the Mac 15. If this includes a way I can use it to do mail on the road and coordinate that with mail in Outlook 2003 on the big Windows system, by all means. I am likely to set up a Linux box as a mail server and spam filter for all my systems fairly soon, and that may make mail transfers between Mac and Windows systems easier.
(3) Any Mac software you can send that you think I really really ought to have: send as savable attachments not executable files but zipped or stuffed or whatever; I'll save on the Windows system and move to the Mac. For the moment that's the only way things work here although that will change.
(3.5) Really Cool Stuff that I can report on in the column; either pointers to it or send copies. If it's going to cost money, for the moment I need to be able to see places where I can get copies I can use before buying: I am not going to shell out thousand in $50 buck increments for every shareware package on the net, for obvious reasons. I do pay for shareware I use a lot even if I first got it as a fully operational Review package. If I find months later I am not using it I don't pay, but if I keep using it (like NoteTabPro) then I do pay. (On that score is there something like Notetab Pro for the Mac?)
Off to LOSCON
These are from earlier in the week. Sable is told to watch the Mac for me while I go get more stuff from the car. You can see her enthusiasm...
And here is the Mac table. There is a Maxtor 80 GB Firewire drive, a Belkin 4-port USB 2 Port expander, and a 6-way card reader.
The small brown leather box just to the left of the Mac was given to me at LOSCON by the Chairman of the Heinlein Society. Apparently it was supposed to have got to me earlier but things got confused. Anyway it is Robert Heinlein's case, and contains the buttons, cufflinks, and other Navy insignia from his US Naval Academy uniform.
More on that another time, as well as more on the Mac another time.
So we will get to the Mac next week, but it is also column time.
It is still impossible to send stuff over to the Mac. I have managed to transfer files FROM the Mac by copying them into the PUBLIC folder; but I can't copy into it from over here because it insists on maintaining its security to the point of uselessness. There is probably a way around that but I am pretty sick of it. I suppose I will be able to go over to the Mac and suck something in, but I can't copy to it from elsewhere. This is keeping it secure. And making it a lot less useful.
And in fact I can. I can copy files into the Mac if I sit at the Mac. There is probably some way to tell the Mac I want to be able to write into the Public folder but I can't figure it. ALSO, I managed to go to the Mac and copy from a Windows machine. Now I try to read that file from the Windows machine I copied it from. Access to the file is denied. Understand that it is in the PUBLIC folder which I can otherwise read.
Oh. I can drop things in the Drop Box. I can't open that to look at it to see that it got there. This is security. This is the kind of security that causes people to curse security. I'll have to study this more.
I don't have a Windows' / Mac setup at the moment to confirm, but it's normally possible to simply set the read/write settings for the Public folder on the Mac with the "Get Info" window. I'm running on Panther here, I can't remember if you are on Jaguar or Panther, but the basic setup is the same. On the Mac, select the Public folder and press COMMAND-I (File-->Get Info). In the 'Ownership & Permissions' tab of the 'Get Info' window you should see a details area which specifies the user and group ownership and the read/write permissions for the owner, group and others. Setting both group and others to read and write should (theoretically) solve this. It certainly works in a completely Mac networking environment.
Thank you. That doesn't work. I changed to read and write for staff and others and everything else I could find, but I cannot write to the Public Folder across the network. I have changed group to guest and that doesn't do it. I changed it to unknown and that didn't do it. There is no "ALL".
I have decided that this machine is too secure for me, and I am contemplating paying the $300 stocking fee to return it. The security features are driving me mad, particularly now when I am trying to set things up. You have to be at the machine's console to DO ANYTHING with it, and I am weary of hopping from one place to another to try to set this up. I can copy to the folder from outside, but only when I am at the Mac console. I must then move things where I want them.
But when I go to the network, I can copy from the Mac but not to it. It's too secure for that. Which is wonderful for people who work in places where they hate their co-workers and who leave their Mac around for strangers to use, I suppose, although if someone has physical access to your machine you don't own it any more if they don't want you to. But I have real work to do, and that means I do not want to be going across the room to the Mac whenever I want to import anything into it, and I don't want to type my password every time I want to do anything with it. If that's the price of having a good secure machine, I think it's too high.
Now I admit this is morning before my coffee, but I have found that if you want to change over to a Mac be prepared to do it exclusively: it wants you to sit at its console and use it to do everything. A jealous princess indeed. Ariadne is appropriately named.
More in next week's view.
Entire Site Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 by Jerry E. Pournelle. All rights reserved.