February 9, 2005

Well, with my whacky sleep schedule, I am not sure what to include in what day’s updates. So, FYI, I am starting this update at 10pm yesterday, err, Tuesday, to make things a little more coherent. Now, if I could just figure out how to make myself more coherent. I am expecting to hit the record tomorrow or at least by the end of the week for the busiest quarter ever on SGL. As soon as we hit it, I will move a bit out of the main dailies page so that people can handle loading it over dial-up again. It must be murder by now. Luckily, I am able to pull it locally and it is awfully fast! Art’s birthday is only one week away, for those of you who care.

I discovered like the coolest website ever today. Okay, it is actually incredibly boring to anyone but me, but I am really excited. It is ITConversations.com, a Podcasting site that has tons and tons of IT industry content for free download. You can get everything on MP3 and that wacky, proprietary Apple format for the pod. Unfortunately, no Ogg Vorbis, but beggars can’t be choosers, I guess. So, I borred Andy’s iRiver MP3/Ogg player and started downloading mad amounts of audio content. There is some really cool stuff on there and I can’t wait to dig through it all to see what there is worth discovering. I am sure that there will be a huge range of stuff but I am hopeful and finding some stuff that is really worth my time. The thing that I really want is some good stuff to keep me interested while I take walks and stuff. I think (ha ha, listen to me, everyone has an excuse) that if I have good stuff to listen to to keep me occupied that I will excercise a lot more because I can just go out for a walk and listen to IT content while I walk. We will see. I am going to finish writing that book anyday now too.

The big exciting news in business today is that Carly Fiorina (what kind of name is Carly anyway – believe it or not I was commenting to dad and Min on Tuesday about how unprofessional the name Carly was), the CEO of Hewlett – Packard was given the boot. HP’s stock skyrocketted today, even with a bad market. I have been saying that they needed to get rid of her for a long time. She has done nothing but drag that company down. And this is such a critical and strategic time – but them again, when isn’t in the IT industry – to be fooling around with a CEO that makes you company look idiotic.

I worked through the night doing extensive SUSE Linux 9.2 installs onto the computers destined for the Castile school and one to be a testing and demo machine here that is identical to theirs. I have become the absolute master of the SUSE 9.2 install, I seem to be doing it continuously. I have even memorized the IP address and the FTP directory of the nearest mirror so that I wouldn’t have to look it up anymore. I worked on that until 6:00 this morning. While I was waiting for the computers to install, I was researching downloadable audio content online and getting a ton of it from one place or another. I already have a few days worth, I am sure. I am totally obsessive/compulsive, aren’t I? I just realized how much so. Just before turning in for the night, set up a last computer to begin the longest portion of the install cycle (the DVD install portion takes up to 2 hours depending on the machines configuration – the KOffice install takes about 20 minutes and the updates takes about 45 minutes to an hour with a number of lengthy restarts and setups between each step and a long configuration processes after the DVD install that probably takes 30-45 minutes.) I loaded up Andy’s MP3 player with some new content (I had been listen to a couple of interviews while I was working) and headed off to bed. I didn’t actually make it up to bed until just after 7:00am. I went to bed listening to the first portion of Wil Wheaton reading a portion of his newest book at Gnomedex 4 in October. It was a really good talk and I ended up listen to it for over an our. Min came home to find me listening to it lying in bed with my CPAP on. So it was probably 8:15 or so by the time I actually tried to fall asleep.

By 9:30 (yeah, that is a whopping hour and a quarter of sleep) the phone was ringing enough to keep me from wanting to go back to bed. I went down to the office and fixed a couple of computer issues here and there that customers where having and I got some work scheduling taken care of – but the real fun was in doing MORE Linux installs on old desktops. I am guessing that it is taking close to six hours per machine to do an install. That is four a day, max, done serially if I don’t take time off in between. But, it is already quite noticeable that there are a lot less machines sitting around. I have more room in my office, more room in the server room and more room out in the garage. Shelves are clearing up and there is beginning to be space around the house to store things again. It is amazing how much space a giant server, eight desktops, a fax machine and two printers will take up if you let them. This evening I am making a run over to my grandma’s to visit for a little bit, borrow my dad’s staple gun and to drop off the Creative surround sound video game speaker system that I got back in Observatory. Does anyone remember me having that thing set up? Actually, now that I say it, I bet that I bought it while living in Sanctuary because I might have been using it down in the basement there. It is a really cool system that goes underneath your monitor and has two metal poles that go up and behind your head and hold your surround sound speakers back there. It is a totally awesome piece of equipment but I don’t have anyplace that I could put that these days. I wish that I could but that would be awfully silly, I think. The unit is so unwieldy that there isn’t even any way to store it. It doesn’t really fold up in any way so it is totally in the way no matter what you do. But Jeremy is excited about getting to use it and I would like to see there be some use gotten out of it (sounds like Andy and his MP3 player) so I am dropping it off for him tonight. I talked to him last night, just after I had gone to bed and was so disoriented that I could figure out whether it was day or night, and he was really excited to get to use it. So that works out well. Min hates it and I know that she is pissed that I own it. So best to get it out of the house. I take enough heat for the old computers and I am not willing to give those up so I have to give in other places.

It just occurred to me that today is Wednesday and I forgot to take out the trash, again. I have that. Wednesdays are the worst day for trash pickup. You get so caught up in your week and all of the things that are going on you can never remember to get up and go out with the trash in the morning. And I almost never leave the house on a Wednesday morning which only exacerbates the issue because I go straight down to the office and Min goes straight to sleep and the first thing that I know is that it is afternoon and the trash guys and have already been and gone. So it just keeps building up around here. Min is working again tonight, this is the second week of working Wednesday nights that she has done. He manager is on vacation and everyone is taking an extra shift here and there, I guess. So she is sleeping today and working tonight. It is nice that she has gotten an extra day this week and last but it really disrupts our schedules when she works this much.

After listening to Wil Wheaton talk for over an hour this morning (or was that last night, how can one tell), I decided to revisit his weblog which I haven’t been to in three years or so. He just found out that he is going to be playing a role on CSI. I have never seen that show and I am not into those morbid gore shows but I think that I will have to watch for that one. Listening to Wil read excerpts from his bood Just A Geek really gives some insight into Wil and you come to realize that he really was trying to be something more than the loser character on Star Trek: TNG. I think that I am going to pick up his two books, the other being Dancing Barefoot and give them a read.

It looks like I spoke too soon, it is 3:25 in the afternoon and we just hit the point to be the fifth busiest quarter, whoo-hoo. We should hit number four in no time. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were number one by the end of the day. Top three in the very least. Sweet.

I decided to play a round of AoE2 this afternoon. Just to relax. I ended up having one of those really strategic games where you actually manage to kill an opponent but keep his resources going feeding you. So I decided, when dinner rolled around, that I would set the wheels in motion and see how the game could handle playing without me. It went for 30-45 minutes and I was still on top. I had taken a hit but I was still winning. I played for fifteen minutes or so and got my strategy set back up so that I could leave again. Min and I are going down to my grandma’s for a little while to visit. Min hasn’t seen grandma since she went into the hospital a few weeks ago. We went down around 7:00 and stayed until 9:00. We had to get back so that Min could get ready and get off to work for her last shift of the week. After she headed off to the hotel, I went back down to the basement to wrap up the blog for the evening and to check on my AoE2 game. It was still going and I was in really good shape. I think that the computer just gave up. I did manage to not just waste time being silly but actually managed to get some real research done that everyone will be interested in come Friday night.

Here is the official announcement for the week: yes, there is a game this Friday night. Let’s say 8:00 pm. Be here and be set up by then. Bring everything that you need because we don’t have spare anything now that so much stuff went down to Castile. The VPN is working, however, I tested it tonight. That means that people like Josh or Bob could play remotely if they wanted to. If we are going to have very many people, I am afraid that the remote players model is the only one that is likely to really work until someone gets a larger house with a lot of computers and a good network in it.

Well, my whacky sleep schedule yesterday has really messed me up so I am going to call it a night and get off to bed. I am taking Andy’s MP3 player to bed so that I can finish listening to Wil Wheaton’s book reading at Gnomedex 4 from last October. I just have the last half yet to listen to. The first half was just hilarious.

Dad and I are planning on going down to the Castile school in the morning. 9:30ish. No earlier unless there is breakfast involved. There is a bit of wiring to be done tomorrow, it isn’t going to be fun for those of us non-electrician types. And I am especially bad at pulling wires through walls and stuff. I am hoping that there won’t be any of that but we will have to wait and see. It sucks not being handy at all. It is going to be a challenge for me just putting in the ceiling insulation in the server room! That is another project that I have for tomorrow. I was wanting to get that started tonight but I am just too tired and need to get myself into bed.

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