February 10, 2004


Mr. Humphreys is just way too cute not to be our llama of the month.

Eric worked really late last night so he went into work late today. So he stopped by and we went out for lunch down to Main St. Min had a lunch meeting at the Omega Grill so Eric and I couldn’t go there.

Min’s meeting went well. I had a webinar on wireless bridge system and cellular backhaul networks that I had to get back for. It wasn’t all that exciting. I spent most of the afternoon working. I have plenty to get done. Min has been going through all of the wedding photos that we have back now. There is a task.

I spent alot of today trying to download Lindows 4.5 so that I can install it on my Virtual PC. I have been interested to see how it is. But as many of you read, I spent all day yesterday trying to get it downloaded to no avail. So this morning I got a response from their support techs who said that my problem was that I wasn’t sitting around waiting for the 6-10 hour queue to work its way down so that I could begin the download process within fifteen minutes of getting to the front of the queue. This is real important information to have had since the queue takes so long to get through that there is no way that you are sitting at the computer that whole time. In fact, you shouldn’t sit at the computer all that time since that will encourage you to use it which you don’t want to in case it crashes or that the browser crashes. But apparently you have to. The problem is that the queue can take so long to get through that you probably can’t quite sleep during it and it takes longer than a full work day, typically. So you are pretty lucky if you ever get to a point where you can begin the download without it expiring. So today, as I finally was sitting at my computer and was closing in on the download being ready to begin, Lindows’ server crashed and the queue was deleted. At that point I became incredibly irate and wrote a very nasty email to Lindows support. What a total waste of time. I am totally disappointed in Lindows. I can’t believe that they charge people $60 for the pleasure of going through this hassle. Just for a Linux distribution that is stripped down and isn’t supposed to be installed on multiple computers. What a sham. I am embarrassed to be continuing to attempt to complete this download. I feel like a fool for even trying. I was just downloading it to evaluate it and to be able to put it on my resume. If I was a customer I would definitely have demanding a refund by now. And not only does Lindows sell this product that is delivered by this sad method, but their real money comes from a service called “Click’N’Run”. This service is an automated software delivery service that you get for $15 a month. Well, if I have to wait 48 hours everytime I want a new software package I think that I will pass. The worst part of it is that almost all of those software packages are available for free and can be downloaded and installed just as easily on every other Linux system. I got lucky (if actually getting Lindows after all this hassle can be considered lucky) because I sat at my computer for almost an hour attempting to restart the download and I manage to catch the servers right after they came back up and I got into the queue only about an hour later than where I had been. After another hour, I was able to begin the download. Afte waiting through a queue that takes so long, I at least expected the download to be snappy. The installation is just a single CD image so I expected it not to take very long. If this had been SuSE which comes with ten times the software I could imagine it taking a little while. But instead, the download took around two hours. Who knows why they have the queue system if they let that many people download at once. Doesn’t make any sense to me.

I was doing some research on the largest cities around the world and in the US. I always find census data very interesting. Boy doesn’t it sounds boring when it gets put like that? I started looking at the world’s largest cities. Tokyo has been the largest city for a while (this is by metropolitan area, not city limits) but I didn’t realize that NYC has moved back up to second place! People don’t realize just how big NYC is. The list shows NYC as having about 21 million people. I have heard statistics that say that the true NYC metro area should include the cities of Hartford, Boston, Philadelpha, Baltimore, York and Washington because they all fall within the standard definition of metropolitan area but because they are such well defined cities, they are typically split off and counted seperately. So NYC would be the world’s largest city by that definition giving it over 110 million inhabitants. I thought that it was really interesting that LA has moved into the sixth place on the largest cities list. You really should look into the world’s largest city list, it is really interesting. I thought that the top US cities list was interesting as well. The really interesting bit, to me, is that the Detroit metro area is now number eight and on the list includes Flint. So I have now lived in the fourth and eighth largest American cities and even moved to the largest once but moved right back out again. I have been to nine out of the fifteen largest cities over the years. That is pretty cool. If I manage to pull that job in San Francisco this month or next, then I will be to a whole ten of them. What is really interesting is that just one hundred years ago, Buffalo was second largest American city (soon to be passed up by Chicago.) Chicago would hold the title until sometime in the 1980’s. I also found a page talking about the world’s largest cities throughout history which I thought was really interesting. No one ever thinks about this stuff (except me.)

Min and I settled down for the evening watching some more A Fine Romance Series 2. It is very dry but an enjoyable show. We are just waiting for Series 3 to release on DVD. I hope it is soon. This is the show that made Judy Dench famous and the one where she starred along side her real life husband.

We had some shopping to do so Min and I headed out to Walmart and Wegmans to get it done. We got some joint Christmas money that we haven’t yet spent so we are getting a spot rug cleaner for our really hard to keep cleaning carpeting. We keep getting spots on the carpets that need cleaning.

We got home and the Lindows download had finally completed. I did the Windows updates and restarted the computer because, for some reason, just about every programming running on the computer had crashed. I got it restarted and started installing Lindows 4.5 and when it is completed I will report on my findings – post download saga. Min started pretreating the carpeting to try out the new Bissell that we got at Walmart. We also got a new runner to put from the doors to the living room. Hopefully covering up some of the hardwood will reduce the constant stream of dirt that seems to be constantly making its way onto our carpeting. We are looking forward to putting some carpeting in the basement too because there is always dirt coming up from down there as well. Dirt, dirt, dirt.

So today has become one of the longest updates ever. I feel bad for falling behind and I am working had to make up for it now, I guess. Last year we had 71 views of the site a day. It was obvious from the web logs that during the months when I was updating the site more frequently, people were reading it lots more. So I am going to make a real effort to keep up with the site. I am also going to make an effort to add a lot more content to the site. My goal is, by the end of the year, to have added 100% more to the site. That is as much in 2004 as all of 2001, 2002 and 2003 combined. Now we will see how I do.

The first change, other than the longer updates, is the addition of the link to Amazon.com that appears in the navigation bar. I am also going to be making all of our references to movies and CDs and such link directly to Amazon so that you will be able to shop for things discussed here quickly and easily.

In case no one has noticed me not mentioning it – I still don’t have my car. I haven’t heard anything about it yet either. Andy called this evening to say that he, Miranda and Natalie are hanging out in Toronto tonight. Miranda and Natalie are going to a concert tonight and Andy is just hanging out at the Royal York. They will be heading back up north tomorrow. Andy is planning on coming home on Thursday but might stay as long as Monday. He was supposed to be returning to Puerto Rico on Monday (according to what they told him while he was down there) but they have not been willing to even call him to talk to him for two whole weeks. The chances that they are going to ever call him is getting slimmer and slimmer. Imagine a company that doesn’t even have the nerve to tell you when you are done but instead give you two weeks unpaid vacation and then just refuse to return your phone calls or contact you when they said they would. The definition of unprofessional.

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