This is my site. Cool, huh? If you don't like it, well, I guess it lives up to its name for you, then.

Category: computers

Thu 25 Oct 2007

Why, oh why, must web companies force us into their latest and greatest crap? This morning I fire up my computer, and as usual iceweasel opens automatically to my home page of my.yahoo.com. What do I get?

Hmm... your browser is not officially supported.

We recommend that you download a supported browser.

Download a supported browser for free by clicking one of the links below:

* Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher (Windows)
* Firefox 1.5 or higher (Windows and Mac)
* Safari 2.0+ (Mac)

By the way, I am still using the old yahoo mail, because the new one is such a blasted resource hog/outlook clone. If I wanted outlook, I'd use outlook, OK? I don't want a big email client in my dang browser.

Of course, if you're a regular reader of this blog (hah, poor you) then you know that list of "supported browsers" is likely to throw me into conniptions, anyway; I'm sure you've noticed that there are no browsers supported in Linux. "Firefox 1.5 or higher (Windows and Mac)"

Anyway, just want to vent some irritation. I like the last caveat, too:

You can proceed to the My Yahoo! Beta. However, please note that we cannot provide technical support for your browser.
Yeah, like yahoo is so outstanding with their technical support already -- not that I blame them, it's free for crying out loud, why should people expect tech support? I know, I know -- because people are idiots, that's why.
Posted in the morning, after first booting up/computers ]

Tue 11 Sep 2007

OK, itunes just notified me that "an updated version" is available. So I go ahead and click on the upgrade button. I just upgraded a few weeks ago, but no big deal. But it brings up a blasted click-through license agreement. Every time I upgrade I gotta read all this crap? That's it, I'm through. Are there any good itunes alternatives out there? Any thing as feature-rich as, say, amarok? I am stuck with Windows on this computer, I'm afraid... And no, Windows Media Player is not an option I will agree to, and I don't think Winamp has progressed that much in the last few years.
Posted in the evening/computers ]

Thu 09 Aug 2007

So, Slate deems it necessary to explain to bloggers how to name their blogs, huh? Boy, I sure feel special, since I hit on Rule #1.

However, I'm not sure I particularly want to "enhance my online charisma" -- sheesh, it's funny how seriously some people take things.
Posted at lunchtime/computers ]

Wed 13 Sep 2006

I have found a new window manager, and it brings me joy. Its name is OpenBox. I had been a long time BlackBox user, but always kinda wanted to get rid of the slit. OpenBox has no slit. I had tried fluxbox, but it just didn't appeal to me, you know? Probably the configuration in Debian was more pain than I was willing to deal with at the time.

Anyway, I have finally figured out how to use virtual desktops, or at least in a useful way. Most of my fiddling around with linux has been on laptops (installed on 3 different ones to date) and I therefore never had a scroll button. Well, at work it was decided to take the laptop mentioned below and use it as a floater for the entire office (oh, the humanity!) and buy me a desktop instead.

Dinner's ready, to be continued...
Posted after work./computers ]

Sat 19 Aug 2006

I realized that I screwed up in my post below. The /dev/uba* entry is created by the USB block device code in the Linux kernel. This code is not the best choice to use, though, for some reason which eludes me -- all the cool kids say that you should use the USB storage code, which does require scsi emulation, while the block device code does not. When I configured my kernel, I missed some obscure configuration option which hosed the scsi system's recognition of the flash drive, and the block device code swooped in and took over.

Man, what a pain.

Posted just after the post below/computers ]

Thu 08 Jun 2006

I got a new toy -- a Dell Inspiron B130 laptop -- at work. I decided to wipe XP and install Debian on it. With all the crap that Dell puts on a new computer, can you blame me? So I spent quite a bit of time trying to tie everything together -- ("let's see... backport of X.org to sarge? check. Hack to update bios on every reboot for screen resolution? check. Compile ALSA drivers from source to get the sound card to work? check. Script to flash the firmware of the printer every time, too? check.")

One thing eluded me, though -- the USB flash drive. The most recent kernel (well, not anymore -- I used 2.6.16.16, but they're up to 2.6.16.20 now) didn't add /dev/sda1 like everything says it's supposed to! ARGGHHH! But, I figured out today that apparently Linus's war on SCSI emulation in the CD-Burning arena has expanded to the USB province too, and the device name was actually /dev/uba1. Or maybe Linus's war on SCSI emulation had nothing to do with it, I have no idea. (hey, if you can't pontificate ignorantly on the internet, where CAN you ignorantly pontificate?)

All I know is that nowhere on the web could I find reference to this device, so I'm blogging it so it'll be out there now. Want to get your USB flash drive to work in a recent kernel? Look for /dev/uba1, NOT /dev/sda1.

Much props to this guy, who (though he doesn't know it, unless he reads his server logs a little too intently) helped me immensely, first with a nice new deb of amaroK, then with an updated deb of udev that doesn't conflict with either ALSA or hotplug. Mr. Stosberg, I salute you.
Posted around lunchtime/computers ]

Wed 07 Jul 2004

Boy, I love it when sites post links to help, but then don't write any help for almost two years. Also, the copyright notice is from before the date at the top.
Posted in the morning./computers ]

Mon 28 Jun 2004

Hey, if anybody out there hasn't heard the news, Microsoft sucks. Use Firefox.
Posted in the morning./computers ]

Wed 16 Jun 2004

Bought some Big Macs the other day, so I decided to try out the Sony music download store, since hey, it's free. Their software requires 400 megs.

400 megs.

That's more than the hard drive on my first computer (and don't play the, oh, on my IBM XT I only had 5 megs! I know, OK, I know.) They need 400,000,000 characters, or 3,200,000,000 pieces of information (loosely defining a bit as a piece of information, admittedly), just to let me use their stupid software. Not only that, but they insist I install it on my primary drive; no option to put it on d: or e:. You just know that most of that 400 megs is probably little promotional pictures of teeny-boppers with their ipod-lookalike thingies (can't have ipods themselves, they don't play WindowsMedia! But we'll do our best to fool all the gullible people out there...) (And don't bother telling me that ipods do play WindowsMedia. They probably will, eventually.) Well. So, do I uninstall something just so I can make obeisance to Sony and their demand for 400 megs? Corel WordPerfect Suite 8 is only 100 megs, and that'll let you do just about anything you want office-wise. OpenOffice.org is 150 megs. Granted, the kings of bloatware -- MS -- most recent office product weighs in at 500 megs, which would give me more than enough room. Do I dare get rid of the standard? hmm...

Yesterday I tried downloading it in Lynx on my ancient Dell Pentium 90 laptop. Exercise in futility, I know, especially since that thing doesn't even have a sound card (so I can't really blame Sony that it won't play music ;) but I just wanted an excuse to rant. Luckily, I found something better to rant about...
Posted in the morning./computers ]

Fri 23 Apr 2004

Whaddaya know, the hate email I sent them (see below) bounced. Not only are they annoyingly stupid, but they're technologically stupid, too! All this, from an engineering college. Man, am I ticked off right now. I am soooo glad that I don't live in that festering rathole called California.
Posted n the morning/computers ]

Boy, talk about a generic blog. What can I say, I'm not a design guy. My brother says he'll design a template for me if I want...

These are the sites that I read the most:

News
instapundit (like many, many other people)
Google News
reddit
OK, OK, so I'm biased. Big deal.

Highbrow
Arts & Letters Daily
Lowbrow
Fark

The best dang writing on the web, period. (At least it was, when I set up this blog 4 years ago.)
Lileks (especially the Bleat)
Eject! Eject! Eject!

Humor
Dave Barry
Tim Blair
Worse Than Failure

Legal Stuff
How Appealing
Balkin (when I want to get mad)
Volokh & Co. (I like Phillipe the best) (where did he go, anyway?)
Lessig
Some Harvard graduate who happens to be totally hilarious.

Other interesting political commentary
Amygdala
Colby Cosh
Impromptus (and what happened to him, too?)
Best of the Web

Baseball stuff
Neyer
Hunt (What the heck happened to him, anyway?)
Viva El Birdos

Geek stuff
Greenspun
Doc

Sites I used to read all the time, but rarely visit anymore
Slashdot
Yahoo Money
Ubid
Andrew Sullivan
New York Press

Marvelous ways to waste an afternoon
Travels with Samantha (rated PG-13)
The Institute of Official Cheer
The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit
Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics
The Tolkien Sarcasm Page
Wikipedia's BJAODN

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