August 29, 2002

Well, today starting off with a bang – our Internet access is down. Road Runner is generally pretty reliable but it does go down for a half day at a time from time to time but then stays up for a month or two. It is pretty weird the problems that they have. It is annoying though, because they are always down during the times when I am really needing to be online. And they are often down for very long periods of time which is really ridiculous. I don’t know what they have going on that they should ever be down for 8-12 hours at a stretch.

More home work today. The semester is over this weekend and I need to finish up everything that I have gotten behind on. And of course, having no Internet access this close is not helping matter any. I am heading for Washington, D.C. tonight. I plan on working at the hospital for a while tonight and then sleeping in at the house in Annapolis in the morning. Now that we have the servers moved down there, life is so much better. It is cool in that office and much cleaner. The rack we are using for the computers is much better and we can move it around to get behind the computers and work on things.

Dominica is going to be coming down to Maryland to spend the weekend with me tomorrow night. We are hoping to be able to go to the Renaissance Festival down there over the weekend. Don’t forget that Monday is Labor Day. (You know, from the people who brought you the weekend.) And for our Canadian friends who are surprised that we have that holiday too, it is a British holiday.)

Currently, Gordon is our house server. It was selected because it had multiple hot swappable hard drives and a smart array adapter. But, Gordon is getting old. In fact, Gordon was a pretty old machine when we first purchased it while living in the Gaslight Apartment in Ithaca. That would have been in the Spring of 2000. (Speaking of the Spring of 2000, Loopy – do you remember what we spray painted (with window frosting) onto Josh’s bedroom window on Feb. 19, 2000, well, it’s still there.) So Gordon is getting on and is becoming less and less useful in the house as we need more and more disk space and would like to have more and more features on our server. We are looking for a good home for Gordon in the near future. He has been a good machine for us but he needs to go do some good work for someone else. He is a Compaq Proliant 2000 upgraded to a Pentium 100. I have two more Pentium 100 boards and processors and an ourboard drive array so he could be almost tripled in speed by a loving family. He has room for a couple more identical hard drives as well that would speed him up and give him more disk space to work with. All of his parts are pretty cheap on eBay. He has 86MB of memory but could be upgraded. Our new machine is a rack mount Compaq Proliant 6500 with larger drives, 128MB of memory and four Intel Pentium Pro 200 processors (roughly the equivalent to a 1GHz Celeron machine.) It isn’t the fastest machine on the block anymore either but it is a super high reliability machine like Gordon was and will hopefully last us just as long. Gordon has been running Windows NT 4 Server but we want to move to Red Hat Linux for the house server. That will make the new machine even faster yet.

I just got off the phone with Road Runner. It would appear that they forgot to process my last payment and they shut off the cable service. This is not the first time that they have screwed up the billing and shut us off even when we were paid in full. But they don’t inform us that that is why it is being shut off so it is impossible to tell the difference between their regular network problems and a billing problem. I wouldn’t have even called had today not been two days after the end of the billing cycle. But it is long enough after that I thought for sure that it wasn’t a billing issue. You would think that a Fortune 10 company like that would have its act a little bit more together than that.

August 28, 2002

Eric and I started off the day with a meeting in Rochester with Rochester General Hospital in Irodiquoit. That actually went surprisingly well. We then went suit shopping at Men’s Warehouse because I needed a plain black suit. I have shopped there before but this time was so bad I intend to never even consider shopping there ever again. The salesmen were so greasy and obnoxious. It was like being at the worst used car deal you have ever seen. You tell them you don’t want anything and they bring things for you to see and try to add things to your bill you never even thought that they were trying to sell you, they kept asking me what they could do to make the prices good enough for me and then would offer me a higher price and act like it was lower. I don’t like to haggle at a men’s clothing store. It was embarrassing. They wouldn’t let it go. If I didn’t want another suit then they would bring me a sport coat. I kept telling them I didn’t want anything and they wouldn’t stop. They wouldn’t let me out of the store. My mother was with me and she got so mad that she said something to them about it. And that didn’t stop them. It was such an awful experience that I will never go there again. They even lied to me about the prices on the suits I was looking at (the tags said $300 and $220) and the jerk told me if I bought the two it would save me money and he would let them go at $550 and said that the one alone was $400. I don’t have Internet access this morning to look up their customer service number but I intend to get a hold of them and explain to them why Wagi (Assistant Manager) and Vincent (the salesmen) managed to make me no longer willing to be a customer of their chain.

After being harrassed at Men’s Warehouse, I went up to Greece and helped Josh and Joanna move into their new apartment. They moved just around the corner from where Josh was living before and from where Josh, Loopy and I used to live once upon a time. It was weird helping Josh move because the townhouse that they are moving into is identical to the one that we all used to live in. It was eerie.

Loopy bought a new pair of small Paradigm Atoms for his bedroom because his old speakers were just way too big for that little room. This is more practical for him. His old Monitor 7’s were sold on eBay.

August 26, 2002

I got up at 3:45 this morning and hit the road to DC. Today was the planned big server move. I arrived in DC around 10am and we immediately began work on being able to move the servers to our new office at Washington Hospital Center. It took some doing but we were actually able to do it today. Some of you might have noticed some downtime with this or one of our other sites. We were down for a couple of hours during the move. The move will help move us into a position where we will be able to expand our performance in the future. For example, we are now considering a much faster communications line there and a new web server for SGL. As soon as the move was completed, I headed back to Ithaca. I was driving for twelve hours today. I am really tired.

Min is very excited because she finished knitting her first sock yesterday. She made me wear it around. She is working on a matching one now. She also wanted me to let everyone who got “the email” from me that they shouldn’t feel bad for their reactions because she was at work when she read it and she screamed so loud that like fifty people were like “Are you okay?” She managed to scare some of the people in her office.

For some odd reason, I wrote the update yesterday but forgot to post it. Sorry for the delay, here it is.

August 25, 2002

Two new movies added to the collection… The Majestic with Jim Carrey and Behind Enemy Lines with Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman. I have been wanting The Majestic for quite a while. We (Loopy, Dominica, Zach, Heather and I) sat down and watched Behind Enemy Lines in our new theatre last night. Loopy pointed out that it was the first time that we ever watched a movie in there that we had never seen before so it was really like trying out a movie theatre to see if the effect was the same. I am pretty sure that everyone thought that it was much better at our place. The movie was much better than we had thought that it was probably going to be. The picture and the sound were awesome and the movie was very entertaining. You will likely see us showing off the system with this movie in the near future.

Loopy has become the eBay Master recently as he has managed to move quite a bit of his old stereo system at some pretty good prices. In fact, he has managed to get almost as much for his old Paradigm Monitor 7’s as you would spend on a new pair of the newer model. Since he is having such good luck, I am planning on having him attempt to sell my old SSi-720 Dolby Pro-Logic Decoder. Maybe I can get $50 for it. That would be really nice.

Min is spending the day today watching movies. The new theatre has turned the old unused den into the centre of the house. Today she has watched Dungeons and Dragons and If Lucy Fell, which is one of my weird, unheard of movies on Laserdisc.

I picked up some new movies again today. I got Drop Dead Gorgeous, Pulp Fiction:Collector’s Edition and The Accidental Spy, which is the new Jackie Chan movie that he made in Hong Kong between Shanghai Noon, Rush Hour 2 and Shanghai Knights that is due out later this year. I also got the CD of Avril Lavigne at Best Buy because I wanted to get the song “Sk8er Boi” that I had heard on the radio one day. The CD isn’t too bad. That is 502 movies now! I am actually listening to a CD on my Windows 2000 Pro machine in my office. I think this may be only the second time I have ever done that. It actually sounds pretty decent on the headphones. I have a nice SoundBlaster Live! X-Gamer card in there. My Linux Box has an Audigy. I placed an order with Microsoft to get the Customer Preview copy of .Net Server that is due out next year. I should have it in just a few days. I figure that that will be a little bit of fun to play with.

Tonight we all (Loopy, Zach, Min and I) watched the newest Jackie Chan movie, The Accidental Spy, it isn’t one of his most classic but it is ok. Definitely entertaining. It does have a really funny fight seen in it. Min was dying.

Min picked up the book “Lamb” at Borders that she has been looking for for quite a while now. She is reading that while I am working in the office and I can hear her laughing and laughing.

In computer news that is important to many of our readers… Microsoft has released SP3 for Windows 2000. We have already updated a number of computers here so go check it out. The new movie maker is available for Windows XP.

Dominica spent yesterday with her family celebrating her and Joe’s brithday’s in Frankfort. Min got some money for her birthday and today she is going shopping for a new, shiny Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 to play with (she wants to be cool like Loopy and I.) It is extra cool to have a PDA here because we have wireless support in the house. While she was in Herkimer yesterday, Min also bought a Spongebob Squarepants Snow Cone Maker! We are all very excited about that.

In case anyone thinks I have a virus, I don’t. I really did send out a mass forward today. Go ahead and open it. It is safe.

Only a few more days before we decide on the official name of the Llama. Names have been pooring in so get your in now if you want to be considered.