• My two elder daughters got a little vacation last weekend. They went to visit their cousin, Jessie, and her fiance, Jack.

    They were supposed to take the train both ways, which was exciting because they've never been on a train before. Neither have I, so I was fascinated.

    Of course, things didn't quite work out as expected...

    Continue reading "Mini-Vacation for the Kids"

  • Wow, did that ever bring out my Alpha Geek! This just needs to be recorded as a HOWTO. Too bad my style is so narrative. :-O

    All I wanted was to remotely start an X server that my kids couldn't get to. I'm running Debian unstable, and I routinely use an ssh tunnel to connect to my home computer from anywhere: work, travel, friends' houses... I use x11vnc to export a real X display, providing all the comforts of home.

    This time, the kids were already running a desktop of their own. I could've reconfigured gdm to start multiple displays, but when I restarted, I'd probably kill their desktop. I needed a way to start a new X server -- preferably using my standard X session, restoring my accustomed desktop -- on a display other than :0. And hey, while we're at it, let's start it on something the kids can't get to with CTRL+ALT+(<F6> through <F12>) , like :10.

    Thus began my descent into the Xwrapper.config, startx, and xauth...

    Continue reading "Starting a Stealth X Server Display"


  • Hey, Bro
    Yo, Bro

    Okay, this is lame. Really. But it tickles my funny bone.

    Shopping in Target, I happen to come across these shoes. They're the "Jude" and "Nathan" styles. Just like me and my brother.

    I'm the black one.

  • Arrgh!

    I thought they didn't do this kind of stuff any more. For those having trouble seeing the photograph, this is a snapshot of the monitor for my computer at work. It's just rebooted, and it has the classic oxymoronic error message:

    Keyboard failure. Press F1 to continue.

  • Double, double, toil and trouble.

    Yes, I took the kids to the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows release party. How could I not? Previous generations have camped out for concerts, or movies. When's the last time a book generated this kind of enthusiasm? And is it likely to ever happen again?

    We arrived around 9 PM. We stayed until 2:30 getting the book. There was a lot of waiting, some fun, some friends, and some trouble.

    Continue reading "Potter Party!"