• It occurs to me that, due to my hard drive crash, I didn't get to welcome my new nephew Pearce to Big Room.

    Born 9 pounds 13 ounces (yow!) after multiple inconveniences and long suffering on the part of his mother, Pearce certainly deserves a friendly introduction to the world.

    Happy Zero-Day Release, Pearce!

  • It turns out the hard drive that crashed earlier was actually a motherboard problem. The secondary IDE bus is flaky. The destroyed power supply was completely superfluous; just more trouble for my vacation.

    My weird configuration got in my way while trying to determine and fix the problem. Ironically, it's that way because of an earlier hard drive failure.

    Continue reading "Hard Drive Restored"

  • The holiday always keep me busy, but this one has been particularly active. I was under a deadline to incorporate my new functionality in Serendipity (I'll tell you more about that when it's through).

    The day before the deadline, as I worked between family obligations -- and with three kids, there are lots of family activities -- my hard drive failed. We had left to visit family, and when we got back all the computers had rebooted except mine. Possibly a lightning strike, who knows?

    My new task was to get all my important data off the hard drive. Years of email, bookmarks, development files, photos, music... everything would be lost if I couldn't restore it. I was getting the dreaded "interrupt lost" error, but I had high hopes that the problem was the motherboard: the DVD drive, also on the secondary bus, was having intermittent problems, too.

    Before dealing with my odd setup -- the relic of multiple installs and operating systems, including a stint as a dual-boot Windows/Linux machine -- I cleaned the machine with a vacuum.

    That was obviously a mistake. A few hours later, just as I was finally detecting the light at the end of the tunnel, there was a giant spark and "ZORCH!" noise.

    Continue reading "Zorchy New Year"

  • I was asked to play Santa for my friend's neighborhood again this year. This is my third time; apparently I'm doing a good job.

    This year, the fire truck was called away on an emergency just as they arrived. Then they got a second call immediately afterwards. I figured their work is more important than mine, so I stood outside on the corner and waved to all the cars. The drivers seemed to get a kick out of that.

    One poor kid spotted me from his yard, and stood there for thirty minutes waiting for the fire truck to bring me around. Without my glasses, it was hard to tell, but I kept hearing him shouting to me.

    Instead of a basket truck, this year one of the water trucks came around. I got to sit high up above the cab, next to the big light and the water cannon. My friend always envies this trip. I must admit, it's quite a thrill.

    I didn't run out of candy this year, and my friend got to climb on the fire truck afterwards! She seemed quite happy.

    Thanks, Melynda! I can't wait for next year!

  • I was just reading this fantastic treatise on the meaning of "leadership" online. It was worth every moment I spent on it. It makes me wonder if I actually have any talent in leadership.

    It contains some political, historical, and literary references, mostly British. A recommended read for anyone over the age of 13.