Archive of March, 2007
March 20, 2007:
I am an odd individual. And as a result, I have odd dreams. From time to time I even remember them. I'm going to put this one up here, and hopefully I can do justice to the weirdness of it all.
From xkcd.com, used without permission
I was taking a vacation in Russia, by myself. I went to take a tour of an old Russian naval ship, but it was closed due to the fact that it was suddenly nighttime. The guards (in what I assume were military uniforms) were all asleep at their posts, and one was asleep standing up, so I moved the large metal barrier aside and snuck in.
This ship was actually a club of some kind, and kind of reminded me of the jazz club I went to after a friend's wedding reception a few months ago. Then time-compression kicked in and it was morning, and I was sitting around shooting the breeze with people as they opened the doors and we got ready to leave.
There was stuff written on the walls, and not in English. (This is actually a logical thing, since this was supposedly Russia.) But since I don't know about the Cyrillic alphabet, the foreign words were written in the Greek alphabet. The one word I saw was ΣΦΣ[letter I forgot]. When I asked how the hell you pronounce that, a woman's talking dachshund told me it sounded like "teeth". Didn't explain what the word meant, though.
After that I accused some guy of stealing my jacket as he walked past me and yanked it out of his hands. When I checked the pockets my gloves weren't in there, and it turned out my jacket was where I had been sitting not two minutes before. I did apologize to the guy, at least. For some reason I was also wearing someone else's ballcap, with an old-style Cleveland Indians "C" logo, and what to my shoddy memory seems to have been the Buggy logo. I wore this cap the rest of the day, despite disposing of it at least twice.
And of course all these Russians were speaking with my American Midwest accent.
Then I left by the fire escape to avoid the crowding at the door. And possibly to not have to explain to the guards that I'd sneaked into their club-ship.
Walking around outside, all I remember is a lot of red brick buildings and a regular ol' grid system. At one point a double-length bus (the kind that bend in the middle) made a U-turn in the middle of the block I was walking down, and I had to climb a chain link fence to avoid getting squashed. This didn't seem out of the ordinary to me, but I have been reminiscing about Pittsburgh lately, so getting run down by crazy bus drivers may have been on my mind.
At the end of the block, a van pulled up on the curb and stopped for some reason, then another vehicle cut around them -- as in, even farther over the curb -- to go around the first and turn right. Again, this was no big thing, though I was somewhat annoyed that the guy cut so close to me without giving a thank-you wave for almost smearing me across the pavement.
My memory of things gets hazy at that point, but I think this is when I woke up. And I was very confused. In fact, I dare say I probably made a face much like that of the Daily WTF's mascot. I have no idea what any of that means, or if it's supposed to mean anything. But it was surreal enough that it's still in my head Sunday night, and the dream happened early Friday morning.
March 19, 2007:
Today (by which I mean the day I'm writing this entry), if you keep track of geeky things, is Pi Day, at least in countries that use the mm/dd formation for dates. (More specifically, it was Pi Day at 3/14 1:59:26.5.)
Now, Alton Brown, the host and creator of the food show Good Eats is pretty much a self-confessed geek. Dude made a pepper mill out of a cordless drill, fer cryin' out loud. I have no idea how much control he gets over when Food TV airs his shows, especially the reruns. But I think he may have had a hand in the show that aired this evening, about turnovers.
Title? "A π in Every Pocket"
March 16, 2007:
I was going to write something today about stocking up on Girl Scout cookies, since it's the time of year for them to sell. Maybe I could make a half a dozen boxes last a few months, instead of barely making it to the next purchase.
But instead I'm going to tell you why I need to buy new clothes this weekend. We had a bunch of stuff delivered to the office yesterday, and I was helping to move stuff out of the way as the delivery guy moved it off the dolly. I was even lifting properly, squatting down and lifting with my legs.
I didn't actually hear a rip, but things did get roomier all of a sudden. Checking later on when I got home, the fabric gave way instead of the seam. Completely unrepairable, they have to be replaced. And this is after losing 20 pounds.
March 15, 2007:
No nifty story about having to reinstall W2K -- the five-year-old Maxtor drive I first installed on finally went off to that giant bit bucket in the sky. I was able to retrieve all of my data from the thing, where it now has plenty of room to grow on my 244-gig logical drive.
Of course, I managed to foul it up and forced myself to reinstall Windows again (after spending an afternoon downloading eight years of patches) by screwing up the swap file somehow. When I first reinstalled, I left my old Maxtor in as a slave drive. Windows Setup decided that it should keep its C: drive letter, slapping my new drive at the end of the line after my 2 DVD drives. Which left me with:
- Old Maxtor drive, b0rken Windows install
- DVD-ROM drive
- DVD+RW drive
- New system, on first 128 of 400 GB
I couldn't format the whole drive at once because W2K couldn't do 42-bit drive addressing until service pack 3, and I had the original version.
When I got everything patched I installed the Seagate partition program that came with the new drive. Then I juggled drive letters, setting the new data drive (née G:) to be C:, and sent the old Maxtor to the back of the line (G:). Then I rebooted.
I think the system decided that the swap belonged on C:, then got pissed off when it couldn't find pagefile.sys in the right place. Rather than boot without a swap file (I also upgraded myself to 2 GB of RAM) it just choked at the login screen. So I got to blow up the install and start over, finally finishing at 3:30 AM (actually 4:30 AM, since the switch to Daylight Saving Time happened while I was trying to figure out how to make IE behave).
Loads of fun.
Got everything set back up, though, and organizaed my install CDs better so the next time this happens I should be able to just zip through my installs. Of course, Seagates last a while, so hopefully I'm done watching progress bars at 640x480 for a few years.
Computer runs really well now, though. Nice and fast.
March 12, 2007:
Maybe it's because it's 3 in the morning, or maybe it's because my google-fu is weak, but it took me a damn long time to find the right answer to this one. If you want to open image files (JPG, PNG, GIF) on your local computer using Internet Explorer (instead of, say, a bastard-weasel program like Fireworks) and have them all use the same window, you need to do the following:
- Open any folder
- Go to Tools > Folder Options...
- Scroll down the list to the file type you want, select it, and click the Advanced button
- Choose the action labeled "Open" and click the Edit button
- If it hasn't already been set, make sure the application used is Internet Explorer. In a default install, the path should be "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -nohome (make sure to include the quote-marks, or the spaces in the file name will make the system choke)
- Check the Use DDE box and enter the following:
DDE Message "%1",,-1,,,,, Application IExplore DDE Application Not Running * Topic WWW_OpenURL
- Click OK until you've closed all the dialog boxes, then restart the computer
That will set things up the way you want them.
Misinformation I found before getting the correct version included using "file://%1" instead of just "%1", leaving the DDE Not Running area blank (though that may not have an effect; I'm just paranoid about it now), and using the path to IE in the Application area instead of just the app name. Now the next time I need to reinstall Windows (story to follow) all I have to do is remember that this is here.