THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View: July 12 - 18, 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 - 7,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this place is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE.
|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:
July 12, 1999
It is extremely hot here, and much of the day was devoured by locusts. Attempted to install new memory in Princess but discovered I don't know what memory goes in there, or at least how to get her to detect new memory when installed. I'll have to find the manuals. I also need to go look on the Crucial or Compaq web sites and find out. Princess is the Compaq dual processor workstation running Windows 2000 and Front Page 2000 and has 196 megabytes of memory, enough for most purposes but she could use some more if I could figure out how. I know I can, because I did it once. It's a matter of looking things up.
If you want a good exposition on why to install from scratch rather than "upgrade" when you do an operating system, see
for a very good discussion.
July 13, 1999
Hollywood Bowl tonight, and my Intellectual Capital column is due this evening, to be up Thursday. If you don't know about Intellectual Capital, you might want to take a look. It's a good general subject opinion magazine, mildly conservative in outlook but with many views represented, and has some real experts like Richard Pipes writing for it.
I'll get mail adjusted later today. Lots of new letters.
A major router was out for a while this morning so all of Global's Southern California sites including mine were dead. OK now I think, or you would not be seeing this.
IGNORE THE FOLLOWING> NONE OF YOU GOT THE MAIL I think.
While the router was out I sent an email notice to all subscribers. If you didn't get it, please tell me: be sure to give me the name you subscribed under, whether by check or through RJP's credit card system, and if possible send me the message from the address you want mail sent to.
I have received "did not get it" messages from many who are in fact on the mailing list and on the contact list. I have sent a second message labelled Chaos Manor testing from Chaos Manor. The original subject may have contained something that caused spam filters to weed it? Anyway those who do not get the TESTING message please respond, as above. If you did get it but not the former one, I guess it may have been part of the router problem.
IGNORE PREVIOUS MESSAGES: NONE OF YOU GOT THE MAIL> See tomorrow's view for details.
July 14, 1999 Viv' La France
Although in fact the Bastille was not what it is purported to be. There were precisely 7 prisoners "liberated" in the storming of the Bastille, all aristocrats because only aristocrats were kept there: it was more like a luxury hotel than a jail.
There were four forgers, two madmen, and a young man who had challenged the best swordsman in Paris to a duel; his father had him locked up to keep him from being killed. The forgers were there to escape being sent to the ordinary prisons, and the madmen were there because their families were influential enough to get them confined there instead of to one of the asylums which were literally snake pits.
The garrison of the Bastille were invalided or elderly soldiers who were there as a retirement: the place was the Old Soldiers Home. They were butchered to a man by those who liberated the Bastille. The forgers vanished. The madmen ended up in snake pits. The seventh young man became a revolutionary and was eventually executed by Robespierre for insufficient zeal.
But it was a symbolic blow against oppression and it's the official birthday of the Republic of France.
There is something ghastly wrong with Outlook 2000. For a start, WABMIG doesn't import to the Contact list any more. It imports to a personal address book from which you can't make a list, and which only exports to a PAB file. You can't import those to make a list either. So far as I can tell you cannot use Outlook 2000 to take a pile of mail in a mail folder and turn that into a mailing list. Oh joy. Oh Stupidity.
So I have Outlook 98 running on another machine. I export the folder file to a csv here on Princess. I copy that to the other machine, where I use wabmig to import into the contacts folder. I then export the contacts folder on the 98 machine to a pst file. I copy that to Princess, and import that file, and LO. This is pretty stupid, and a lot more work. Thanks a bunch Microsoft. The documents for Outlook 2000 are like the rest of Office 2000, non-existent. I have a big third party book on Office 2000 and it's not helping either. This is really stupid.
Outlook 2000 also glitches on big mailing lists: either Outlook or Dirtlink, one or the other. In any event, neither of the messages I sent yesterday got out and eventually both were returned by the System Administrator, presumably of Earthlink. I have tonight broken the subscriber list into two lists, and sent the same message to each.
IF YOU DID NOT GET YESTERDAY'S MESSAGES please do not bother to tell me; I think none of you did.
IGNORE THIS ONE TOO: IF YOU DID NOT get a message that says it is to the list in two parts, I do need to know it (if you are a subscriber, that is). I will get this straightened out. Yet.
FLASH. PART TWO OF THE LIST DID NOT GET OUT. I have mail from the SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR to that effect.
I have built the subscriber mail list up from scratch and sent out yet another mailing giving it the old college try. If you did not get THAT mailing (the one that says it's a college try) then worry. If you didn't get any of the previous ones you aren't alone. No one else did. Or few did. But this one was done from a clean new list. A few address changes were not on it. It appeared to go out fine, meaning that the corrupted list was choking the mail server before. All seems well, but I think what killed the old list was Outlook 2000, which uses WABMIG in a much different way from Outlook 98.
I need to do more experiments.
It is now late. The Hollywood Bowl concert was Prokofiev, the 2nd Violin Concerto, and scenes from Ivan the Terrible with the LA Chorale and the Phil doing the sound track and a huge projector of actual movie scenes hanging there. Did odd things to the acoustics but it was a fascinating concert.
Subscribers should have got a message relevant to Nero Wolfe fans. If you did NOT GET THE COLLEGE TRY AND THE LAST SPAM OF THE DAY message, and you are a subscriber, let me know as soon as possible. Preferably from the system to which you wish mail sent, but from anywhere will do. Tell me the name you subscribed under (as exact as possible; if you normally use Dr. Thad of Long Beach please say it that way if you can remember it since otherwise I have to try to figure out how Outlook filed it, and that is a mighty mystery; it can be under D for Dr., Th for Thad, or B for Beach and I have not divined the rules it uses).
Give me the name you subscribed under, the approximate date (within a quarter will do) and the email address you want things to go to. Sorry for all this natter about subscriptions but at least I sent you a couple of pictures last night and I have some more...
Hot as blazes here in the Valley today. Niven and I will go hiking this evening.
CALVIN your mailbox is full and all mail is being returned. Apparently netcom does that a lot.
I have a report that Word 2000 used with Windows 2000 working on a document on a network drive doesn't make .wbk files, and a writer lost all his work because of this. I have just done a test and it certainly worked for me. I am waiting to see if autosave also works, but if you set Word 2000 Tools Options Save to always make backup copy it seems to work fine for me over a network drive. This sounds like operator error. I have always wished Word would give me the choice of saving in a couple of places without changing the default save file name and location (let me save as without changing where 'save' will save) but I can think of reasons against that too.
Autosave I am not sure of. But it certainly saves across networks when told to.
I have been asked about the Yorktown incident discussions. You can find them here.
I have been answering a lot of OLD mail tonight. I have also updated the subscriber list as well as I can. It's late. There is a lot of mail in mail, most of it with far briefer answers than I like, but that's the way it is.
Niven and I went hiking and got a lot of work done, plotting a new novel and what may be a short story, may be a novella, and may be a full novel; we're just going to let it grow and see. Afterwards we went to dinner. Decided to go to my favorite French place in Studio City, Pinot Bistro. OF course I knew it was Bastille Day but I had forgotten they have a BIG party there on Bastille Day. Was able to get us in, and it was a wonderful dinner and a lot of contact high from the party atmosphere. A great day all around.
I have put up an FPRI paper on crusades, old and modern. Very much worth reading for those interested in foreign policy and the lessons of history.
July 15, 1999
Major Broyles, the System Administrator won't sent your mail. That's why you aren't getting it.
I will later make a list of people who aren't getting mail.
The physicians say I don't have cancer. We're treating this as good news.
I have done a UNIVERSITY TRY mailing to the subscriber list. If you got it, DO NOT respond. If you subscribed and did not get it, tell me: when you subscribed; how (mail or credit card); under what NAME; and with what email address. If you got duplicates, send me information on what to do. If you got it at the wrong address, send me exactly:
what name; what address it came to; what address you want it to go to. I am trying to clean up my lists now.
For some of you it's time to renew, sort of, but I am not pushing it since the early subscribers where the reason this place stayed open in the dark days after BYTE vanished and before Nikkei Byte made it clear they really wanted the column to continue.
John Dougan your account is over quota whatever that means. You are not getting mail from me, and presumably no one else.
Rod at Shrine your mailbox exceeds the size allowed by your service.
rbanton they never heard of you at grant.tds.net
rbaker they never heard of you at pacent.com
mgosdin they never heard of you at midwestlink.net
jgadbois conknet doesn't know you
shampur you don't exist at inforamp
calvin your netcom box is full
Dave Pomeroy natchiq doesn't love you
I have about fifty more of those but I am out of time...
OF COURSE some of your mail troubles were MY FAULT: apparently I referenced a high quality picture as part of the message. Ugh. I'm sorry, that must have felt like a mail bomb. I will NOT do THAT again.
ALL OF YOU: some of you have mail systems that have long delays built in. You don't get a message the instant I send it, you look here and think you should, and you send me mail. I take an hour off to check a hundred of these and find that three were actually people who didn't get it because they were not in my data base. Others are having their mail rejected by their servers, their box is full, or something else. Please, then, give it a little time, and be sure you are getting ANY mail before you think you're not on the list....
And of course sometime I cannot reply for the same reason you didn't get the mail...
SO: I AM GOING TO MAKE "ONE MORE TRY" which will be the subject of the message. This one will be short and contain no attachments. If you are a subscriber and you do NOT get ONE MORE TRY after a day or so (let things percolate, OK?) then send me that information and I'll fix it. I am slowly getting the master list right.
Repeating the instructions: If you subscribed and did not get "ONE MORE TRY", tell me: when you subscribed; how (mail or credit card); under what NAME; and with what email address. If you got duplicates, send me information on what to do. If you got it at the wrong address, send me exactly:
what name; what address it came to; what address you want it to go to. I am trying to clean up my lists now.
But wait until it works. I just got a message from the execrable Earthlink saying that NONE of those went out. "No transport medium". Meaning Earthlink is eating my outgoing mail. I have to DO something about all this, and soon. So WAIT, please.
Earthlink is giving me problems about mailing all that; have I run over some hidden limit number? We will have to see. I am sending One More Try in two parts.
FINALLY: We are taking a vacation until Monday evening. I have promised my wife I will take no computers. This is our 40th anniversary. No computers. No communications.
I won't BE HERE, so you may as well hold off mail. Anyway I will be back Monday.
There may or may not be a bit more here later tonight, but this is close to sign off.
OK: there were two unprocessable items on the mailing list, and Earthlink's mail processor just dies when it sees that happen. I found them, and having sent some people One Last Try in different PARTS (if you didn't get one don't panic) I send the "Really Last Mailing" to the list as I have it, forwarding a copy to a couple of people who updated late.
That should do it. Give it a couple of days and if you still have no mail from me and think you should send me the details so I will see them Monday.
And I am off...
One last thing. now we know what happened to the mailing list. THANKS!
Vacation to Avalon without a computer.
July 18, 1999
I am on the Island of Avalon.
But this may as well be preserved
OUTLOOK 2000 uses WABMIG in an entirely different way from OUTLOOK 98 and can clobber your mailing lists. It ruined mine which had to be rebuilt. BEWARE. And the documentation of Outlook 2000 meets the usual wretchedly bad standard of all Office 2000 documents, with an imbecilic help system that can't find key file extensions that Outlook 2000 insists on making. BEWARE. This cost me a lot of time.