THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 516 April 28 - May 4, 2008
Highlights this week:
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April 28. 2008
A good night's sleep and a good day. It really feels as if I am recovering at last. My only real complaint is the arthritis is back with a vengeance. Every day now opens with getting down on the floor and stretching. The NSAIDS -- Nabumetone for Relafen -- help, but eventually I am driven to aspirin (Bufferin, actually). So far that seems to work.
Today I intend to do an April column. Parts of it will be reports from readers, part will be Winding Down; I don't know how long it will be but I'll get it done. I have not given up doing silly things so you don't have to! And I do seem to be getting energy back.
Meanwhile I have to do some work on Outlook 2003: I have endured a problem for some time, and on my morning walk I devised a scheme to deal with at least some aspects of the difficulty. This may take a couple of hours, so the morning View here may be a bit delayed while I do that. With luck I'll have a happy ending and it can go into the column.
Later today or tomorrow we will start up a debate on Ethanol and "burning food". Joel Rosenberg is preparing his response to the last round of discussion on Israel; I sent him several very good responses from readers, and rather than rush this I am trying for something more significant on a very important subject. There's other stuff in the works.
For now I have to deal with Outlook and see what I can scare up for the column, and I do not plan to overdo it: I will get in a nap and maybe even an hour in the hot tub. (Back when Lucifer's Hammer hit the best seller list, we decided that putting in a pool was a good investment for a house with four boys in it, and it has proved to be so, although since we took the cheapest options the maintenance has been more difficult than it might have been. The pool and spa have been closed for the winter but they are active again now, and I hope to make use of them in the recovery. Sure makes me sound like a Hollywood writer, languishing in a hot tub! But thanks to you subscribers, I have been able to take the time off to do some real recovery. Thanks again.)
Anyway, there is no end to the stuff I have to get done, and I do want to conserve some of the energy I woke up with. Thanks to all those who wish me well. It seems to be working.
QUERY: When I export to a pst file, that file is now included in the files that open automatically when I open Outlook 2003. I want that file NOT to open, but to just sit there as a kind of archive. How do I tell Outlook NOT to open a pst file? Must I copy that pst to another folder and then delete the darned thing?
It may be that I misunderstand and it doesn't actually open. I'll have to experiment more. Interesting things I learn this way. [Fixed. See below. Thanks to all who responded.]
1445: I did lunch (we do lunch in Hollywood) and took a nap afterward. I have the spa heating. I still feel pretty good. Before lunch I did a great deal of cleanup of my outlook.pst archive and save files; that took a lot longer than I thought it would, so I didn't get as much accomplished as I thought, but it will make a few hundred words in the column I intend to get done before I go to bed.
I don't feel quite like the old me, but a lot closer! I guess the key is to remember that I am recuperating and lower expectations of what I can do, but keep at it. It all seems to be working.
In Outlook XP it's:
1. Select the root folder of the PST in the "Folder List" pane 2. Right-click on the PST 3. Select 'Close "<PST Name>"' and it will close the PST
I don't know about Outlook 2007 because I don't have it installed.
I had a great swim and the spa was hot and obliterated all my arthritis pains. Wow. And I am about done reorganizing my pst files, and I have over 2,000 words for the column. This has been a good day.
I did run out of energy eventually, and crashed after dinner. All's well but I have to finish stuff tomorrow. A lot of what I intended to do didn't get done -- and won't tonight. So it goes.
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|This week:||Tuesday, April
It wasn't a great night, although it wasn't horrible; but come morning I woke up in bad shape. I went downstairs, had a short breakfast, and went back to bed. At noon I got up for a very brief and small lunch, and went back to bed. I just got up.
For a while I thought I had a cold, but I don't seem to be all that stopped up. Indeed, the worst symptom -- and it's a bit of a cause for alarm, but it's not horrible -- is a lump in my throat. It's not quite a sore throat. If it's still there tomorrow I will go see the doctors. Meanwhile I need to take my daily pills.
Clearly I got nothing done today. And I am trying to assess how I feel now. I don't feel awful. But I sure don't feel energetic. I'm calling it a relapse.
I intended to open a new debate on burning food (mandated ethanol and bio fuels). That will have to wait until tomorrow, I think.
Nerds Everywhere Beware
If you lack social skills, don't get a Russian mail-order bride. She might steal your money, sleep with your best friend, poison your children's minds and then disappear. If the jury doesn't think you're sympathetic and act a little weird - they might send you to jail. I don't know if Reiser did it, but with no physical evidence and no body makes you wonder...
And Niven just called. He wants to do lunch (and a hike or at least a walk on the flats) tomorrow, a BIG incentive to summon up some inner energy. He'll call in the morning to see if I am up to it. I intend to be.
2350: I took another nap after dinner and vegetated in front of the TV until 11. I don't know how long it will take me to get to sleep.
I have opened the debate on ethanol and biofuels over in mail. I will now try to get some sleep.
When you are done with that -- it's long -- you may ponder another survey into the suicide of the west:
Astarte and Amaterasu - The diverging destinies of Europe and Japan.
I don't agree with all of this, and the mispunctuation in a couple of places grates, but it's still worth reading, IMHO:
- Roland Dobbins
It's worth your time.
1158: Did my morning walk. Got the column ready for posting tonight. Niven is coming shortly. This looks like a good day, and I already have done what amounts to a day's work.
Spending the day in bed yesterday may have been the right thing to do.
There's a lot of new mail. Now to get ready for a walk with Niven (a second walk for the day).
1545: Went to lunch with Niven and came back and crashed. There is a finite limit to the energy levels I have for the day, I guess.
Subject: A ***GREAT*** Global Warming Interview
This is maybe the best I've yet seen:
It certainly makes for a good read. Of course he is saying essentially what I have been saying for years. The difference is that he's got the credentials...
May 1, 2008
It's a complex situation. Last night I crashed after dinner, having spent most of the day in bed. It wasn't a terrible night, but it wasn't that bad. I am expecting a delivery this morning -- between 9 and 1 they said and they wouldn't narrow it down more -- so I went downstairs with the ThinkPad t42, which connects to the wireless network from there, having moved all the PST files from this machine -- Alexis the communications machine -- over to Orlando the T42.
All was well until I clicked on a link. At that point Firefox went insane and insisted on updating itself before it would open. It gave me no choices about just shutting it down. The screen went blank for a long time. Eventually I did a power cycle. The system came up, sort of, and suddenly Adobe insisted on updating Acrobat. More blank screens. Eventually I brought the machine upstairs so it could connect to the Ethernet in case the big problem is that it's too slow downloading updates on Wi-Fi, but so far after a reset, the system comes up, I log in, and there's a blank screen.
The problem is that I can't get email. I am hesitant to give out my MAC email address because it will get flooded with mail and I don't have much of a way to handle mail there. What I need is a way to start up the ThinkPad t-42p in SAFE MODE so that I can remove both Firefox and Adobe Acrobat Reader entirely from the system. Then once I get the machine back up I can reinstall the Adobe reader -- I think I will -- and contemplate whether Firefox, which always insists on installing updates when it is the default browser, will ever be installed on any Wi-Fi machine again. I really hate both programs.
The t42p doesn't seem to respond to f8 on startup and I don't seem to be able to get it into safe mode, I don't really want to open Outlook on this machine because there will be a considerable pile of mail over on Orlando that will be lost forever if I do unless I can get to Orlando and open outlook over there first and copy the pst files --
This is a potential minor disaster, and I don't quite know what to do about it. I sure wish I knew how to get in to safe mode on the IBM. I'll go see if there's anything on the Internet.
AARGH. What I am learning is what I thought: hit f8 at just the right time. If you miss, you have to power cycle again. AARGH. But in fact I got it into Safe Mode, and that hasn't helped. It's still trundling with a blank screen.
Meanwhile the delivery came so I don't have to wait for that. Now all I have to do is get teh t42 running again. At least enough to let me get the outlook.pst file off it... If I could just get to task manager I could shut down the errant processes, but I don't seem to be able to do that. I need to boot into safe mode with step function I guess. This is egregious.
Well, I find I can network to Orlando. Apparently he's working but doing something goofy. So I can copy the Outlook.pst file over, and get Outlook running over here. Amazing.
And that all worked. So I am back on line with Outlook while Orlando continues to trundle. This is amazing, but it makes me wonder if Adobe Acrobat and Mozilla Firefox are safe to have on a machine. Any program that forces updates in the middle of something else is not a very good program to have.
I have a full schedule today. I have to change set-top boxes, get to the Kaiser labs to give a blood sample so they can be sure my kidneys are working well enough to handle the dye markers for my MRI tomorrow, and get a bunch of other stuff going.
It is now 1245 and I need to get to work.
I had a day but all is well. I had to wait for the delivery of a Samsung 42" HDTV, which came at 1130. Once again, a consulting firm was interested in what I would do with an Apple TV box and HDTV; I didn't have to pay for this. My wife is happy about it -- she was telling me it was time to get a larger TV than the 32" normal definition TV which was the best we have. Of course he major purpose is the NBA playoffs. She's a big Lakers fan.
To the extent that I watch much professional sports that's my favorite too, although I sometimes like football; I played guard in 8th grade, which was odd because being 2 years younger than my classmates I should have been smaller. I wasn't all that bad, but when I got to High School the 2 year age difference was decisive: I got to go out for boxing. I wasn't all that bad at it either.
Anyway we now have HDTV downstairs and I am about to connect up the Apple TV Box and look into doing HD podcasts which I can edit with the iMac or Mac Book Pro and apparently there is a way to "publish" them using the Apple TV box. There are also rentals, and downloads, and lots of stuff. We are getting a 1 GB Ethernet line into the room where the TV is, but until then it will work with WiFi.
Never had any experience with HDTV before so this should be interesting, and the project is to see how well it all integrates with the rest of Apple and the MAC OS. I must say it's an interesting experiment.
I also had to get a blood sample drawn since tomorrow I get my MRI (in late afternoon) and they are going to give me some kind of dye marker, so they need to be sure my kidneys can handle the dyes. I had to do this before and it was no problem so I don't suppose there will be one now.
So tomorrow they get a picture and I have an appointment with the oncologist next week to see how it all looks. Wish me luck.
So it was an interesting day, and considering that I spent yesterday in bed, an active day wasn't something I expected, but I feel great, and all's well. Tomorrow I have a lunch appointment, then the MRI. That will be a busy day.
I see am rambling. Thanks again to all those who subscribed or renewed. Took the sting right out of not getting much done last week. I'm not used to long periods of not producing much...
I was reading your Current View, and wanted to let you know that you can turn off the automatic updates in Firefox:
Tools - Options - Advanced
Click the upgrade tab, and you can either turn off the automatic checking for updates, or have Firefox ask you what you want to do.
Thanks to many of you who told me this. Now if I can just make Orlando boot to where I can get task manager working...
If necessary I may have to scrub to bare metal and restart? But I hope not.
What happens is that he boots up, I log in, and get a blank screen that stays that way forever. I can network to him, but I can't ever get him to respond to anything. He's apparently trying to update something. I'll fool around with booting into safe mode and see if that helps, but what I really need is to get him to respond well enough to let me kill some apps...
There's mail on the economy, the Marching Morons, and hydroponics and energy over in Mail today.
Well the news on Orlando is both good and bad. It seems I can sort of see that things are happening on screen. The problem is they are so dim I can't see them. Orlando is a ThinkPad t42p running XP. There must be a way to brighten the screen because the IBM splash screen and the first Microsoft splash screen are at full brightness; then it goes dim. XP is up and running but at a level so dim I can barely see that it's on at all.
I still have hopes but I can't figure out what to do. Help? Please: for a few hours, if you don't know what is going on, please don't send me speculations. If I don't get some help from those familiar with this model of ThinkPad, then I'll invite speculation, but for them moment, let's hear from those who actually know what's happening. But hold off--
The system boots, and it shows a screen, but it's so dim I can't see what's on it. I can't see where the cursor is, and I can't read the displays: they are very dim. It turns 0ut that taking it into a dark room makes them invisible.
Playing with fn F3 will get me a screen, but it won't last. I am still fooling with this, but at least the system is almost working. I'll keep trying. This is weird.
It keeps showing me a screen, then it vanishes. I hit fn f3 a couple of times and it comes back. I kept fooling with settings and resolutions and advanced settings and God knows what else, and one of my foolings around seems to have fixed things. I do not know how that worked or what I did. But the t42p is now working. I have no idea how I managed that.
If there's a t42p expert out there I would like to know what I did wrong, and what I did right, and what to do if all this happens again...
HDTV is spectacular. I am sure those who have it already know that. I haven't yet installed the Apple TV box that allows all kind of interesting interactions with HDTV. That comes next week. Not tomorrow: tomorrow is a pretty full day with a lunch appointment and then the MRI in the afternoon. It should be an interesting day. Meanwhile, I haven't had the urge to throw myself in bed and pass out, so it has been a good day and much got done.
There is an important consideration on IQ, education, and skills in mail.
Check this out
Not sure what to make of this, but it's sure interesting.
2125: I had my lunch appointment and my MRI. Exhausting day. I am now vegetating.
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/index.html Look at the item on science fiction writers. Interesting.
|This week:||Saturday, May
1530: A slow day. Took our walk, and went back to bed, and I probably will go lie down again in a few minutes. I am not sure there's not some bug crawling around in Studio City to complicate my already complicated situation. I'll learn more about the results of the MRI next week sometime. As to whether there's a bug, Roberta isn't feeling all that well either.
I have put up a LOT of letters on Ethanol and bio crops over in Mail. Some of it is redundant since I didn't have the time or energy to edit out duplicate thoughts, but it's not too much so; and I expect that anyone will be better off trying to make sense of the situation for having read all that. My own conviction remains: we can't repeal the second law of thermodynamics. On the other hand, if I have to spend a trillion dollars I'd rather the money went to Kansas than to Saudi Arabia -- and it's worth a good bit just to have that choice.
Nuclear power is expensive only if we continue to use it as a milchcow for the lawyers. Given the Trial Lawyers' arrangements with the Democratic Party, it's not likely that will change. While some tort lawyers might put the good of the nation ahead of their own interest, there will be some who won't, and they will find ways to control the situation. They always do.
There are also letters on IQ and Evolution
It's very frustrating. I have a great deal of new technology and equipment. I have never had more to write about -- and I have never had less energy to spend on doing silly things so you don't have to. It's enough to drive me nuts.
There's just a lot to be done here.
|This week:||Sunday, May
2010 (8:10 PM)
I have spent most of the day in bed, and I'll likely be back there shortly. Went to bed at midnight Saturday, and got up at 0800 to get ready for church. Roberta sings in the choir so she has to be there at 0900 or so. I generally sit in the car in the parking lot and read the newspapers from 9 to 10, but today I mostly slept.
I didn't quite sleep through mass, but nearly so. We went to breakfast with a friend. I didn't eat much at all, came home, and crashed. I missed the Lakers victory, got up for a few minutes, and went back to bed again. Don't want any dinner. I'm afraid to lie down again for fear that I'll be awake in the middle of the night.
I think it's a bug. I hope it's a bug. I'd hate to think this is some kind of relapse. Positive thinking. I'll get up tomorrow and get the column done, and everything will go well.
I have put up a fair amount of mail yesterday and today. It will have to do...
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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