THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 483 September 10 - 16, 2007
Highlights this week:
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September 10, 2007
General Petraeus has testified, and what he said needs comment and analysis; but not tonight.
I have just returned from the beach house. Here is an announcement (but see below; cancel this transmission):
If you sent me mail between Thursday 6 September at 0900 PDT and Sunday, 9 September at 2000 hours (8 PM) PDT, I do not have that mail. If you sent it and I answered it, I have neither your mail nor my answer. If I sent you mail, I do not have a copy of it. In short, for that period I have lost all the mail. (It will eventually be recovered, but not for a while.)
If you have recently sent me a subscription notice and you have not received a welcome message, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. YOU ARE NOT ENROLLED. Please send me a notice. If you paid by subscription to Roberta's mail, that is not lost, but the NOTICE TO ME that you subscribed is lost.
What happened is that Orlando, the t42p IBM ThinkPad, died Sunday evening. It's not serious: it's a "fan error." Attempts to reboot get the process started, there are words on the screen, then "fan error" and the system stops. I am certain this can be repaired and easily.
I have had adventures trying to read the hard drive. It's intact, but attempts to read it with Windows XP or Vista have failed. That story will be in the (delayed!) column; it amounts to the fact that the disk has an active partition and Windows isn't smart enough to get past that. I can go in with partition magic and change that disk partition status (I think), but I have decided that I'd rather just leave things alone: I'll put the drive back in the machine, get the machine fixed, and peel off anything I need. Eventually I'll export all the mail for that period to a disposable pst, and import that pst into this system, and I'll have all the mail.
The most important file on that machine was done Saturday: the final submission copy of INFERNO II. Of course I saved that off onto a thumb drive, and I have transferred that to other machines; and I had already sent a copy to Niven and another to our agent in New York. So we that file. I don't have the "Inferno Record" file that records day by day how many words I wrote the day before and whatever happened to affect my work. But I have that up to Thursday, and eventually I'll recover the entries for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so it's hardly a problem.
I am sure there's a clever way to use a USB drive case to get at the files on that disk, but I have spent a couple of hours trying and it's just not worth the effort.
So that's where we are, and why the column will be late.
(Column was delayed but I am fully recovered, with all mail and data restored.)
I have many thoughts about Petraeus and his testimony. If we intend to win that war, he's the right general. Heck, if he wants to be emperor I may well join in the cheering. Note that 60% of the country now trusts the military more than the Congress and President put together. We live in interesting times.
Let me be clear: I have an external USB case for the external drive. Windows sees the drive at the device manager and Disk Management level, but it will not assign a drive letter to it, so I can't access it. This is because it is a boot drive, and Windows doesn't seem to be able to cope with it.
Sigh. (and that too is fixed; see the column.)
Cancel Previous transmissions. I have access to the drive, through an external cage. I am copying the files now. It was something Eric Pobirs said that was the clue. The story will be in the column, and it's interesting. Anyway I have all the data.
He has my entire support in this. I expect to see further developments including the founding of a new anti-piracy committee equipped to act for members.
|This week:||Tuesday, September
If I could, I'd show the videos of what happened on 9/11 2001. I wasn't in favor of invading Iraq, but the intrusion into Afghanistan had my entire support. I just wish we'd sent in a lot more troops and followed through.
Wherever Bin Laden is, he's not leading parades.
The United States was attacked. We should not forget this. The organization that engineered that attack is trying to establish control of sections of Iraq. They would love to have control of a state with diplomatic privileges. We must not forget.
I suppose I ought to comment on 9/11 (other than it's Sable's birthday) but anything I say would be lost in a sea of comments.
I do note that some Democrat Members of Congress have denounced General Petraeus in advance. I hear some Congresscritters being insulting to the general, taunting him, accusing him of not caring about casualties.
The nation already has more confidence in the military than in Congress.
Beware the Fury of the Legions.
On the home front I have fully recovered from the loss of mail; I have it all including all the subscription information. The story is in the column, but all is well.
I seem to be completely recovered from the "fan error" of my IBM t42p, except that the machine has to be fixed now. It is still under warranty. Now I have to find out how to get invoke a ThinkPad warranty. Which means finding some place near Studio City 91604 so I can take it there. I can't imagine that will be difficult.
Health zoning! Now they'll keep fast food shops out of South LA. The obesity epidemic must be halted! The arrogance of those who will tell us how to live our lives knows no bounds.
Has anyone else had Adobe Acrobat Reader lock up their system? The program seems to be evil.
Dear Dr. Pournelle
I'm probably the last to discover this but I spotted a Tom Snyder TV interview of yours on YouTube:
I had not seen it.
Democrats scramble for strategy; mostly what they are doing is blackguarding the military.
Beware the fury of the legions.
Now I've seen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U-Oxhb8SK4 and it's pretty good.
I sure looked better then. One thing: Durk is younger than me.
Orlando, my t42p laptop, won't boot: it says fan error. I bought this from IBM before they sold Lenovo.
We've managed to find a warranty service provider in Burbank. I'll have to check with them to see what paperwork is involved, but it's not a long drive over there.
I called the Burbank outfit. They say bring it in, they can get it fixed in under a week, and I don't need any extra paper work. This seems easier than boxing it up and sending to IBM/Lenovo. I must say I had a horrible time trying to FIND the warranty service center; the web site has a search program that did not find any warranty service centers within 100 miles. Fortunately Mr. Hellewell worked some magic and got a list of places.
I have a lot of mail from readers saying I should just call the IBM 800 service number so I did. The entire call including the phone tree took under 5 minutes; when I gave the type number and serial number the southern accented lady in Atlanta said "Looks like I have to send you out a box."
The box will arrive possibly tomorrow but more likely Friday, and the whole thing will be done in a couple of days. I am to remove the battery before sending it.
This looks simple and easy, so I'll do it that way. Meanwhile I will continue to use the z61 Titanium system, which I have to say I like.
(Regarding the z61 see next week's column)
September 13, 2007
Next Wednesday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, me hearties!
I am still working on an essay on Iraq. All our alternatives are terrible. Just getting out and leaving things to come apart has implications: it demands that we do certain things to survive the resulting turmoil. Realistically we won't do those; the people who will gain power as a result of the disasters that immediate withdrawal will generate will NOT make the massive investments we will need in energy independence, border security, an expanded Navy, and withdrawal from NATO to a more hemispheric strategy.
Pulling out of Iraq while muddling through with no strategy will be a real disaster. The withdrawal will not be smooth. Anyone who has tried to make a fighting retreat involving battalion sized units will appreciate the friction; now magnify that to a dozen brigades plus thousands of contractors; Iraqi friends (collaborators in local eyes); megatons of equipment. It can be done, but it's not going to be as easy as some think, and the media will magnify every incident. It will make withdrawal from Viet Nam look orderly.
We could survive that, but it will place major strains on the nation. The military will feel betrayed. After Viet Nam we lost a lot of junior officers and non-coms; and it would be that way again. The effects on our military will not be small. We can survive that, but it needs determination that I doubt Clinton or Obama will have. (I haven't much confidence in the Republican candidates to weather such a storm and come out with a strong armed force either.)
There will be lots of trained death commandos in Iraq. No one wants them in their country. The pressure will be enormous to export them to the United States, probably by way of Mexico, but by any means; and there's money to do that with. We have to be prepared to control the borders. I don't expect Congress or the President to do that until it's a bit late.
There will be turmoil: The Sunni nations will not want to see Iran take over Iraq and persecute the Sunni. A civil war within the House of Islam is not an unmixed blessing: energy prices will skyrocket. I don't know who among the electables in the US will be able to manage that crisis. Will we invest and invest heavily in domestic energy?
And so forth.
That's one of our alternatives. There are others. None are very attractive. I am going over them now. What I wish is that we had never got into that place, but then I said that at the time.
My friend Greg Cochran isn't shy about making his views known: Washington is run by idiots and liars (not mutually exclusive categories).
This may be of interest:
I have a somewhat different view. I think the whole leadership class has bought into Jacobinism, and then partisanship. Meanwhile the neocons have an agenda. Mix well.
Then you can try Fred's view of smart people:
The IBM warranty box arrived at noon. I have sent the t42p off, prepaid, priority DHL (there's a local dropoff in my village so I didn't have them come pick it up).
September 14, 2007
You will find Pinkerton's essay The Once and Future Christendom worth your while. http://www.amconmag.com/2007/2007_09_10/cover.html . I do not always agree with The American Conservative, and sometimes it drives me wild as it takes up some of the catch phrases used to blackguard Bush and the Republicans; but once in a while it publishes something worth a year's subscription.
There is a lot of good mail today, some on rather profound issues.
I am between novels: Niven and I are satisfied with Inferno II, and it is now formally submitted after responding to editorial changes. Of course Mr. Gleason may have other suggestions, and we may have to go back to work; but meanwhile I am trying to get Mamelukes done, after which I have to look at a significant new novel about the near future in these last days...
I am aware of the Google Lunar X Prize. I'm trying to assess its actual impact, as in, who will invest in trying to win it.
It's a pretty small amount for that big a job. Worth doing, of course.
|This week:||Saturday, September
I have taken the day off.
|This week:||Sunday, September
I took today off.
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 weekly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 8,000 - 12,000 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. This site is run on the "public radio" model; see below.
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