THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 36: February 15 - 21, 1999
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 words. BOOKMARK: you may bookmark this as the current view page; it will always have the name, currentview.html.
|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.
If you subscribed:
If you didn't and haven't, why not?
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:
February 15, 1999
This begins a new organization of View and Mail In both the current issue will always be named currentview.html and currentmail.html, while previous issues will be given numbers, I will probably also eliminate the previous issues pointers, leaving those for headers. HOWEVER: many of the tags on other pages are going to continue to point to the "home" pages of Mail and View. I can begin to change those, but it will take time.
I'm going out to have some stuff installed on the new truck, I'll fix mail when I get back.
Note though that the INDEX page Mail and View buttons have to point to the mail and view home pages, lest newcomers be totally confused, or I have to have too much boilerplate on the current pages, or both. You can however bookmark the current pages, and I'll put links to Currentmail and Currentview on the home page somewhere. Look for them...
And now I have to do some fiction. I got through Valentine's Day with point ahead. Isn't what most men want (married men anyway) to be able to get past Valentine's Day no worse off than they began it? I may actually be a few husband points ahead. Cheers.
I've posted a note from a friend at Rotary Rocket, as much for an excuse to get you to look at their web site as anything else...
on his web site. I have one question: this place doesn't seem to be listed, but I know there are quite a few links pointing here. Not so many as BYTe of course. But how do they find these things out? (There is more on this in MAIL, and Jon has since listed my site in his compilation.)
Steve Stirling and I continue a dialog on history, Marxism, and determinism over in Alt Mail.
You can find a pretty good list of my known works at
http://www.radiks.net/jwoods/biblio/catalog/pournelle.html thanks to Jay Woods.
February 16, 1999
Couple of items. Niven has an interesting problem: when he disconnects his modem the line won't hang up unless they physically disconnect the incoming telephone line out at the outside box. That line does not exhibit this behavior if accessed with a telephone. He concludes it's the modem, but I fail to see how a modem that is turned off and disconnected can continue to have an effect on a telephone line. There is of course an internal telphone switcthing system that was there before they bought the house and which no one understands; I conclude that is what the problem is. But why would a line accessed with a modem refuse to hang up even when physically disconnected from the modem; while the same line accessed with a normal telephone works as expected? How can having been connected with a modem that is no longer attached retroactively have an effect on a telephone line? What discriminates which kind of connection has been made?
Eric points to
which is a report on Microsoft Windows Return Day: Linux people trying to get their money back for Windows. Eric notes that there were people waving penguins (a symbol for the Finnish Linux although of course there are no penguins native in the Northern Hemisphere; a reindeer would be more appropriate except that Linus Torvald likes penguins) and dressed up like Obi-Wan Kenobe, and wonders just how "dignified and professional" this all was. Anyone from here go to one of these? Report appreciated.
I'm going to Seattle in a couple of weeks and I'll probably spend a day out at the Microsoft campus. I like to get their views on things...
A reader asks that I include a page on current projects here. Not a bad idea, although exactly how one would find it is not clear. You'll find it HERE.
The news says that the US Secretary of State has delivered an ultimatum to the President of Yugoslavia, demanding that he receive our envoy or else. That sounds suspiciously like Empire, but I probably have the wrong view. A bit more on that in the latest exchange between Stirling and me on Empire and Marx and determinism.
And Ed de Jesus has considerably more on the Y2K problem, all worth reading.
And I now have a report that Microsoft had free soft drinks and a "Welcome Linux Users" stand at the big Software Redemption March... I am still looking for a reliable report from someone who was there.
February 17, 1999
I have started a new Alt.Mail page on the new era of big government. Discussion invited.
I have started another: Was Clinton Guilty, and if so, what should have been done? For those as weary of this subject as I am, this page is easily ignored. But the matter is serious.
Software Return Day: a link to the story as told by a sympathizer will be found over in Mail. Whether this was the dignified and professional event that was promised I will leave to your judgment: there are photographs.
Scanning in books: while we talked about it, one of the readers simply typed it all in, and has sent me the electronic text. Thanks! I'll make a new book out of the parts. That's known in the trade as a "fix-up" novel, a term coined by A. E. Van Vogt. I'll let you know when something comes of it. Meanwhile, all the work I needed has been done.
February 17, 1999
Over in MAIL we have an important letter on why internal ZIP drives may not work properly, and what to do about it.
January 18, 1999
The radio tells me that the Secretary of State announces that there are only a few hours left before we begin dropping bombs on people in the name of peace. Good Luck. No mention of prayers for anyone we kill, but presumably if we hit some innocent people we will quietly give them compensation? Only we didn't in the case of the aspirin factory in Sudan which turns out not to be what we thought it was. Oops.
Meanwhile, although we demanded that President Milosovic meet with our envoy "or else", he didn't, and there hasn't been an "or else"; our man met with the foreign minister. Speak loudly, carry a big stick, and be deceptive about when or whether you will use it? Meanwhile our airplanes fly patrols over Iraq to keep Saddam Hussein from bashing the Kurds. Saddam has threatened to attack our bases in Turkey to stop our overflights. But the Kurds are attacking our diplomatic facilities because we have aided the Turks in arresting a Kurdish leader, and the Turks are invading Iraq to push back the Kurds. Israel and Turkey are in an alliance. And this is called foreign policy.
I'm trying to clean up today, preparatory to getting the Linux system going again. I also have a new Pentium II chip and motherboard to be assembled into a PC Power and Cooling system case, all this in time for the March column. This place is a hideous mess, far worse than usual, and it's time for fire and sword, meaning that a lot of software that has been sitting here in hopes that I will get to it is GOING OUT. Sometimes there is just no choice.
I have found a new glitch in Outlook. If a Rule sends mail to a folder that no longer exists (I am not sure how this one got erased, but it was gone) that mail just VANISHES. Fortunately my first RULE is to send a copy of everything to a folder named ALL, and when Alex told me he had send mail to a priority rule folder and I realized I had never seen it, I was able to go back, figure out that that particular priority folder no longer existed, recreate it, and go to ALL; search on the subject keyword that puts the mail in the priority folder; and mover all that mail to the recreated folder. I'll probably put this in the upcoming column in a more polished and comprehensible paragraph, but if you use OUTLOOK, and RULES, be vary careful; you may have vanishing mail.
New Essay from the Foreign Policy Research Institute on Hussein of Jordan; I thought it worth repeating here. He was a remarkable man.
Eric has been surfing again, this time in response to a query by David Em on Windows 98 memory limits. He found two for any Windows 98 user:
both worth your time.
David has built us a small button, which you are invited to paste into your web page:
and invite others to do the same...
Peter Glaskowsky reports that Tom Halfill, my erstwhile colleague at BYTE, is now on board as an analyst at Microdesign Resources. They're fortunate to have him: anyplace would be.
February 20, 1999
Notes on replacing ZIP drives that experienced the ZIP Click of Death over in mail. Meanwhile I can't tell if I have a mild cold or a horrible allergy. It's very Spring like here in LA, things are growing, but surely not making pollens, so I suspect it's a cold. My head is stopped up unless I take a bunch of Sudafed and that has an effect too. Nothing for it, I guess.
February 21, 1999
The discussion of Big Government has got longer. And it is ended, largely because your moderator hasn't time to do that and anything else. But I think it a fair exchange of views. My apologies to the dozens who sent mail that I couldn't work into it and keep it anywhere near coherent.
The binmedia mail server died last night, and I've got a bit behind on mail. I also have to throw away a lot of stuff. And get some work done including Intellectual Capital.
One thing that does not seem to be fixed is the box firstname.lastname@example.org and mail being sent to that is being bounced. I have told Darnell and I expect it to be fixed in a day or so, probably less, but be aware. jerry@jerrypournelle is the somewhat higher priority box for messages that I ought to look at sooner. So of coruse that's the one that was hosed....
IT IS ALREADY FIXED. IGNORE ANY Previous messages. All mail operations are normal again.