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Daynotes Journal

Week of 10 April 2000

Friday, 05 July 2002 08:22

A (mostly) daily journal of the trials, tribulations, and random observations of Robert Bruce Thompson, a writer of computer books.


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Monday, 10 April 2000

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Barbara is back! Mom is happy. The dogs are happy. I am happy. I haven't seen the dogs lately. They were great buddies of mine while Barbara was gone, but now they're nowhere to be seen. They're back with Barbara in her office, of course. They make it very clear who their preferred human is.

I didn't quite escape unscathed from the FrontPage problems yesterday. When I attempted to create new weekly pages for Barbara and me, I found that the FrontPage Navigation data was missing. Navigation is a view mode within FP that allows you to define a structure for the web that resembles an organization chart. The only real use for it that I've found is that that data serves as an input to the FrontPage Table of Contents bot, which automatically generates a TOC page based on the Navigation data. 

I really didn't feel like rebuilding the whole structure manually, so I simply called up the existing TOC page, edited the HTML to remove references to the TOC bot, and saved it under the same name. That means that the TOC is now static, but I'm not sure that's any great loss. One of the drawbacks of using the FP TOC bot is that it limits your ability to specify how and where items appear in the TOC. Using the existing auto-generated TOC as a basis, I can probably come up with a better TOC organization. I just have to remember to update it manually each time I add a page to the web.

I spent some quality time over the weekend building a new Windows 98 box. My current Windows 98 box, odin, is used primarily for capturing screen shots for books. It's an old Dell Dimension Pentium/200, and I've decided to re-purpose it as a Linux server. That meant I needed a new Windows 98 box, so I decided to build a reasonable machine for Windows 98.

The case for this new machine is an Antec KS-288. It's from their "value" line, and retails for $79 with a 250W power supply, with a street price of about $65. It's a very nice case, too, about as nice as the PC Power & Cooling Personal Mid-Tower cases I use most of the time. And the power supply ain't bad, either, for an inexpensive unit. It's isn't a PC Cool, but it does the job. Into that case goes an Intel CA810EAL motherboard, which I was quite pleased with in my recent testing. Its memory performance isn't quite as good as that of the 440BX, but it's a very nice motherboard nonetheless. The integrated video and sound are more than good enough for what I'm doing, and the AL version includes embedded Intel 100BaseT Ethernet. Onto that motherboard went an Intel Pentium III/600E FC-PGA processor (that's the Socket 370 Coppermine with 100 MHz FSB) and a 64 MB Crucial PC100 DIMM.

I had an old 91000D8 10 GB Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 7,200 RPM ATA/33 hard disk sitting on the shelf, so I popped it in. Although it is a generation out of date now, the 91000D8 is still a fast drive, and more than big enough for what I want it to do. I thought about installing just a standard CD-ROM drive, but decided that I wanted to try a couple of other optical drives instead. For DVD, I installed a Hitachi GF-1000 ATAPI DVD-RAM drive. For CD-RW, I installed a Plextor 12/4/32A ATAPI drive.

That brought up a small problem, because ideally I'd like to be able to use the DVD-RAM as a source drive for copying CDs, which means that the DVD-RAM drive has to be on a different channel than the CD-RW. But the CD-RW also has to be on a different channel than the hard disk, which means the DVD-RAM and hard disk end up on the same channel. What I'd really like is to have each of the three drives on a separate channel, but with only two available (unless I installed a Promise UDMA card) I decided just to make the hard disk Primary Master, the DVD-RAM drive Primary Slave, and the CD-RW drive Secondary Master. That means that the DVD-RAM drive and the hard disk share an ATA channel, but I can probably live with that, since I don't plan to do any direct DVD-to-DVD dupes.

After getting all the drives installed and configured, I connected a Microsoft Internet Keyboard and a new mouse that I'm not allowed to talk about yet. When I fired the system up, I found that the Maxtor had an old installation on it, so I ran the Maxtor low-level format utility to strip the drive down to bare metal and verify that it was functioning properly. That done, I stuck the Windows 98 SE boot floppy and distribution CD into the appropriate drives and started the installation, allowing Setup to partition and format the hard disk as a single 10 GB FAT32 volume. Installation proceeded without incident. In keeping with the Norse god theme I used for old odin and other Win9X boxes, I named this one thor.

After disposing of the superfluous icons on the desktop, fixing the way it displays folders (nearly every default setting is exactly the opposite of what I use), and fixing the TCP/IP configuration (why does Win98SE default to getting an IP address from a DHCP server, even when no DHCP server exists on the network?), I installed the CA810E video and sound drivers, and other updates downloaded from the Intel web site.

Everything was okay until I attempted to install an updated network driver. Big mistake. Windows 98 became seriously confused and somehow hard-coded an incorrect location for the driver. After trying several times to re-install, including going to Safe Mode, I finally gave it up as a bad job and simply re-installed Win98 from scratch. I don't much like this operating system.

Well, I like it even less now. After the re-install was about 99% complete, I got the same old message "Please insert the disk labeled "Intel PRO Adapter CD-ROM or floppy disk" and then click OK" Getting rid of that message is why I re-installed in the first place. Okay, down to bare metal again, and re-install AGAIN. What a hateful operating system.

Here's how bad it is. Every time I re-installed, whether or not it was simply a repair installation, Setup required me to enter the 25 character init key. It's a sad commentary that I ended up doing this so often that for later installations I actually remembered the full init key and didn't have to refer to the sticker on the back of the CD.

But at least thor is now up and running successfully, and very fast it is too. I pulled odin yesterday afternoon and put it on a towel on the kitchen table. It needs to be torn down, vacuumed out, degrunged, and rebuilt for Linux. That'll be Barbara's project.

I probably need to do something about getting a decent KVM switch. The problem with KVM switches is the "V" part. Ever wonder why video cables are thick and short? Although most people probably don't think much about the video cable, it carries more data than anything else in the computer. If, for example, I run 24-bit color at 1200X1024 resolution at 85 Hz refresh, that translates into (24 * 1200 * 1024 * 85) bits/second, or 2,506,752,000 bits/second. That is to say, about 2.5 gigabits/second. Even a lower setting, say 8-bit color at 1024X768 resolution and 75 Hz refresh, translates to 471,859,200 bits/second.

So it's no surprise that using an inexpensive manual KVM switch usually results in poor picture quality. Until now, I've been using a couple of cheap manual KVM switches to run 8-bit color at 800X600 and 75 Hz into old 15 inch monitors. That translates to 288,000,000 bits/second, which seems to be within the abilities of these cheap manual KVM switches. But I'd like to run 24-bit color at 1024X768 or 1200X1024 at 75 Hz to 85 Hz into some shared monitors, and there's just no way these manual KVM switches can handle that. I guess I should talk to Belkin and a couple of the other KVM makers and find out what all the issues are.

 


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Tuesday, 11 April 2000

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Interesting experience yesterday working with thor, the new Windows 98 box. It has a Plextor 8/4/32 ATAPI CD burner in it. That's a very nice CD-RW drive, but it hates Smart & Friendly 4X discs. I mean, it hates them. I used the Plextor without problems to burn CDs on a variety of blank discs, including Fujifilm, TDK, Kodak, and Maxell. It was even able to burn at 8X on media certified for only 4X. Perfect dupes every time. 

Until, that is, I tried using Smart & Friendly 4X media. On those, it tested successfully every time. In test mode, Easy CD told me that it could use those discs at 8X, 6X, 4X, 2X, or 1X. But every time I actually tried to burn a CD, it blew up and made a coaster. Every time, at every speed, including 1X. I've updated the firmware in the Plextor to the most recent version, and it doesn't help.

In the past, I've used Smart & Friendly 4X media in my Smart & Friendly SAF798 CD burner with no problems at all, although they were not from this batch. I suppose there's a small chance that this stack of 100 blank CDs is somehow bad, but I suspect they'll work fine in the SAF798. It's sitting on the shelf right now, so I'll have to install it and find out.

Posts will be rather sparse for the remainder of this week. In addition to everything else I have to do, it's time to do our taxes.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Carol Lusk [mailto:clusk@tyler.net]
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2000 9:48 PM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: TeraPro Cable Modem

Mr. Thompson, Hello. My name is Bryan Lusk and I have a Terayon TeraPro cable modem too. I was just curious if you know how to edit the EEPROM ( electrically erasable programmable read-only memory) on the cable modem to increase transfer speeds. I was told that you can do it simply by having some software program on your computer and you can edit the EEPROM through the 10BaseT network plug on the modem. I was curious of the validity of this so I took apart my modem and discovered a 10-pin plug that looks like some sort of programming hardware is plugged into here. I was curious if you know how to make these. Thank you for your time. 

Bryan Lusk
clusk@tyler.net

No idea, sorry. I was puzzled by your first comment until I did a search of my site and found that one of my readers has the same model cable modem that you do. Presumably your cable modem service has implemented some kind of throttle on transmission speed that you're trying to get around. If the cable modem in fact uses an EEPROM, you'd probably need a ROM burner to modify the programming. It may instead have flash memory, in which case it probably could be modified via the Ethernet port. But knowing what changes to make would not be trivial. 

In fact, even if you could download firmware that was pre-configured to do exactly what you want, it'd be a mistake to install it. You'd almost certainly be violating your terms of service, and if you got caught you'd regret it. At the least, they'd cut off your service. At the worst, you could find yourself in court and perhaps going to jail. I don't know that there's been a court case on something like this yet, but I'd guess the courts would treat it the same way they do "theft of services" for those who steal HBO or whatever.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: M. Praeger [mailto:athyrio@hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 12:15 AM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: KVM switches

The topic of KVM switches was thrashed out in the Ars Technica Open Forum in late February and early March. See [here]. (it's two pages long)

Sorry not to have been chatting lately. Co-editing Moshe Bar's new book and an unusually intense load of local e.g. family-matter issues and job searching have left me just now catching up on the last 1 month's tech web browsing. For the next time you are stranded wifeless for a week, may I interest you in the world's best taco recipe?

Yes, I've seen that article, thanks. I'll be going into things in quite a bit more technical detail before I decide what to get. As far as recipes, those aren't the problem. We have them in abundance here. The problem is that I hate to spend time cooking stuff. My idea of maximum acceptable preparation time is (a) open package, (b) serve contents.

 


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Wednesday, 12 April 2000

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Well, if it isn't one thing, it's another. Barbara left for the gym and drugstore yesterday morning. Instead of coming home, she called me directly from the automotive air conditioning shop to say the compressor had died on her Trooper. Hers was one of the last models that used R12 Freon, so they're going to see about replacing it with an R134a unit. That'll probably end up no more expensive than replacing it with an R12 unit and recharging, because R12 is now up to $45/pound, versus R134a at "only" $15/pound. Geez, before the environmentalist whackos succeeded in banning R12 for no good reason, you could buy a one pound can of R12 at any auto parts store for about a dollar.

Barbara is off playing golf this morning with her dad and our friend Robin Weiner, while I try to get some work done. Brian Bilbrey sent me a copy of Mandrake Linux 7.0.2, but the machine I'm going to install it on is still sitting in pieces on the kitchen table. One more thing to do. And I still haven't started doing my taxes.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Werth [mailto:twerth@kcnet.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 10:45 AM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: KVM switches

Bob,

I picked up the Belkin OmniCube 2-port model. So far it has worked great. I looked at three different models of the Belkins, the 2 and 4 port OmniCube and the 4 port SE model. I probably should have gotten one of the 4-port models but the 2-port was all I needed so I decided to save a few bucks. The Belkin models guarantee up to 1600 x 1200 resolution and were the best value for the money that I was able to find. I'm currently running 1280 x 1024 w/16 bit color @ 85 Hz refresh rate off of my main box. (Matrox G400, great video card) The other box is a P200 w/a Matrox Millennium card in it that seems to do best running @ 1024 x 768. The best prices that I was able to find were at Egghead.com. Right know they have free shipping for UPS ground so that works out pretty well.

Thanks. I'll probably pick up one of the 4-port Belkin models. I already have decent video extension cables, the cost of which is not insignificant. That's on my to-do list for a later time, though. I have to get through this book, my taxes, and a dentist visit first.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Jan Swijsen [mailto:qjsw@oce.nl]
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 12:32 PM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson
Subject: recipe

>My idea of maximum acceptable preparation time is (a) open package, (b) serve contents.

Isn't that the mininmum. For the maximum (in your situation) I would sugest : (a) open package, (b) apply heat, (c) serve. Unless you enjoy chewing frozen pizza :-)

-- 
Svenson.
Mail at work : qjsw@oce.nl, or call : (Oce HQ)-4727 
Mail at home : sjon@svenson.com

Ah, but frozen things thaw, and cold pizza is quite good. Actually, I prefer it to hot pizza.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Alberto_Lopez@toyota.com [mailto:Alberto_Lopez@toyota.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 1:21 PM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: Intel CC820 and a P III 600E: Is the INTEL BRAND worth the extra $$$?

Robert,

Good morning,

Just a quick question, so you don't have to post this if your're pressed for time:

I am in the process of building a FAST computer, ( as a Server for a tiny LAN in my office, and to aid in the completion of my MCSE studies) and have decided to go with the following CORE components:

ANTEC Case ~ $80.00 
INTEL CC820 Desktop Board ~ $180.00 
P III 600E CPU ~ $310.00 
128 MB 133mhz DIMM ~ $129.00 
ULTRA ATA 66 10GB Maxtor HD ~ $100.00

My question to you is: Is this a good choice of M/B and CPU Combo and are the prices reasonable? (I am in Southern California, about 35 miles SE of Jerry Pournelle)... You know, it's just that $500.00 for a M/B and CPU seems kind of expensive...

For Comparison:

I can get a "no name" M/B for $80-100 and a AMD K6 3Dnow! 550Mhz for $129, which is about HALF of what I would pay for the INTEL Brand on the M/B and CPU...

Your thoughts on this are greatly appreciated...

Thanks,

Alberto S. Lopez 
Torrance, CA 
alberto_lopez@toyota.com (work)
albertol@pacbell.net (home)

No, actually the CC820 would be about my last choice of motherboard. Memory performance with SDRAM is pathetic. I'm not sure why you'd want to put a fast processor on a server for a small LAN anyway. If it were me, I'd buy a Socket 370 motherboard that supports both Celeron and Coppermine processors, and install a $70 Celeron on it. Get Crucial memory, too, by the way.

The hard choice is between the Intel 440BX chipset, which supports only PC100 memory, ATA/33, and AGP 2X on the one hand, and the VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset, which supports PC133 memory, ATA/66, and AGP 4X on the other. The problem is, none of those three things make a heck of lot of difference in real-world performance. The Intel 440BX chipset is fast, robust, and ultra-reliable. I've had a lot of problems with VIA chipsets in the past, although I haven't tested any boards based on the 133A yet. If I were choosing for myself at this point, I'd go with the 440BX, although that may change once I get some experience with the VIA 133A.

11:30: The automotive air conditioning place just called. It'll cost $1,300 to fix the air conditioning in Barbara's Trooper. Of that, $700 is the cost of a new compressor from Isuzu. Rebuilt A/C compressors are junk, says the man, and I believe him. I asked about getting one from a junkyard, and he said he'd been in the business since 1963 and had never had any luck with junkyard compressors. In addition, there's about $600 of labor and material required to install the compressor and convert the system to use R134a instead of R12. I hate the government.

Actually, I told the guy we probably wouldn't bother to get it fixed. Barbara was just saying yesterday that we don't really need two vehicles. She drives much less than she used to, and I average something like 50 miles/month, most of it with Barbara. My attitude is that we'll just convert Barbara's white Trooper to the one we keep garaged 99% of the time.

 


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Thursday, 13 April 2000

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According to this article in The Register, IBM has banned employees from using Win2K. Apparently, IBM has distributed a memo to all employees, which says in part, ""IBM employees are not permitted to directly or indirectly connect Windows 2000 to the IBM production network infrastructure". Apparently, Win2K trashes DHCP. That's no surprise. I reported that a year or more ago. It is surprising that it took IBM this long to notice, though. So much for the 300,000 seat rollout that Microsoft had been trumpeting. 

And now I need to buckle down and get my taxes done. The good news is that I got TurboTax and the North Carolina state edition installed successfully. The better news is that I was able to get both of them updated to the current revisions, although the on-line update mechanism built into Turbo Tax failed, reporting that it was unable to determine the proper proxy settings. That was odd, considering that I was installing it on a machine with a direct dial-up connection to the Internet. Still, I was able to hit the TurboTax web site and download the updates manually.

That's much better than a couple of years ago, when I bought TT on-line directly from their web site. I spent hours trying to get that installed on my main workstation. It almost worked but blew up unpredictably. When I finally got a response back from TurboTax tech support, they said something like, "Oh, yeah. TurboTax *was* NT-compatible in the first release, but something we did in the patches to update it to the current tax rules broke the NT support." I told them that I thought it'd be nice if they removed the statement on their web site that it supported NT, but they didn't seem too concerned. Then last year I got TT installed with no problem, but couldn't install the updates to save my life. So we'll see what happens this year. At least it's installed now, and that's a start.

Lots of mail that I don't have time to answer right now, so please accept my apologies.

 


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Friday, 14 April 2000

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Still working on taxes.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Claude T. Moultrie, Jr. [mailto:moultrie@ix.netcom.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2000 9:02 PM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: Some comments on your recent postings

Robert,

I have stolen enough good technical tips from your site, so I thought that I would pass along a few things that you might be able to use.

You have mentioned several times that a CD-burner needs to be on a different IDE channel from the source drive. I had heard that HP puts the CD source and the CD-burner on the same channel, so I tried it. I have a Creative 6X DVD and a Memorex CDRW 4420 as master and slave on my second IDE channel. I copy CDs successfully using Adaptec S/W. I have a 450 MHz Pentium III with 250 Meg memory. I use Windows 98 second edition. I do have DMA enabled on both drives, and there is very low CPU use during CD copying. I think recent systems with enough resources and DMA are able to burn CDs easily.

You mentioned your annoyance at Linksys for having the same model number on different boards that require different drivers. I agree that this is dumb. However recently when I was trying to connect two Linksys hubs and ran into trouble, I called their tech support. I got to talk to a human in a very short time. Even more unusual, he was knowledgeable and helped me figure out my problem. These days a manufacturer who is there when you need them is unusual and definitely worth supporting.

You mentioned that you do not understand why Windows 98 defaults to "Obtain IP address automatically" when there is no DHCP server on the network. I recently discovered something on the Microsoft site. Windows 98 has a new feature called Automatic Private IP Addressing. When "Obtain IP address automatically" is enabled, Windows will first attempt to locate a DHCP server for address assignment. If it fails to locate a DHCP server it will use Automatic Private IP Addressing. This causes the computer to assign itself an IP address in the form of 169.254.X.X. This lets one hook Windows 98 computers together using TCP/IP without knowing anything about setting IP addresses. I have been using this for a year without knowing what I was doing. It is only now that I am trying to hook up a Linux system to my network that I have had to dig into the mysteries of TCP/IP. So for a while, Windows 98 let me set up a network without knowing how to do it. I am not sure whether this is an advantage or not, but it has been fun figuring out what is going on under the hood.

If all of this is old news to you, sorry to take your time. But if you can use any of this, I have paid you back for a small portion of the information I have gotten from your site.

Hurry up with the H/W book. I have been needing a good H/W book for a long time.

Claude Moultrie 
The Colony, TX (a suburb of Dallas)

You're correct that you can sometimes get away with putting the source drive and a CD-R on the same ATA channel. I have done so successfully in the past. The problem is that ATA allows only one device to use the channel at a time, so doing that makes it much more likely that you'll burn coasters. A lot has to do with how fast you're burning and how large the cache on the CD-R drive is. For example, the Plextor 12/4/32 ATAPI drive has a huge 4 MB buffer. Since 1X is 150 KB/s, burning at 12X means you're writing 1,800 KB/s to the drive, which allows the drive to buffer more than two seconds worth of data. That means buffer underruns are rare with this drive, even if source and CD-R are on the same ATA channel. But some burners have very small caches, large enough to buffer only a fraction of a second's worth of data. With those drives, connecting source and burner to the same channel are an almost guaranteed way to make coasters.

Now that you mention it, I do recall reading something about Win98 assigning IP addresses automatically. In theory, that should work properly, because the MS TCP/IP stack does an automatic ARP to make sure the IP address it wants to use is not already in use. In practice, though, there are problems. On my network, for example, I use the private network address 192.168.111. That means that an automatically-configured Win98 box isn't on the same network as my other machines. It won't see them, and they won't see it.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Bo Leuf [mailto:bo@leuf.com]
Sent: Friday, April 14, 2000 7:23 AM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: IBM bans W2k

IBM moves slowly. I suppose everyone just figured that this bad behavior would be fixed by the time W2k was released. I mean that would be a reasonable assumption about a known problem, right? Figure somebody at MS must be saying "oops" about now.

For my part and another 2k release, I'm intrigued by the fact that although Word 2000 is officially *supposed* to use the same file formats as Word97 and is supposed to save properly "degraded" versions for Word6/95 and RTF, it breaks most of the Word97 and Word6 compatible imports I've tried. Framemaker has for example a (4Mb large!, compared to the usual 30k-200k range) 3rd party import module for Word files -- no way will it take anything saved by Word2000, whatever format I've tried.

/ Bo

...you posted:

>>>IBM employees are not permitted to directly or indirectly connect Windows 2000 to the IBM production network infrastructure". Apparently, Win2K trashes DHCP. That's no surprise. I reported that a year or more ago. It is surprising that it took IBM this long to notice, though.

--
"Bo Leuf" <bo@leuf.com>
Leuf fc3 Consultancy
http://www.leuf.com/

Yep. I posted something about this back when I first installed StarOffice. Word 2000 and Word 97 documents interchange freely between Word 2000 and Word 97, but the format is not identical. I had exactly the same problem trying to edit Word documents in StarOffice. SO would retrieve Word 97 documents fine, but not those saved with Word 2000, regardless of which format they were saved in.

 


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Saturday, 15 April 2000

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Taxes are done and in the mail. While I was doing that yesterday, Barbara took Duncan to the vet for X-rays. She'd been concerned by a hitch in his running gait and the fact that he sometimes appeared stiff when trying to stand up from a lying position. We were hoping that it would be something relatively minor like a knee problem, but the vet called yesterday afternoon to say that it was what we'd feared. Canine Hip dysplasia (CHD). 

CHD is much like rheumatoid arthritis in humans. The hip joint actually degenerates. A normal hip joint is a ball-and-socket arrangement. In CHD, the socket portion gradually disappears until there is nowhere for the ball to seat. As that happens, the symptoms progress from stiffness and limping to the point when the dog's hips can no longer support its weight.

It could have been worse, though. One of the things Barbara feared was bone cancer. Bad as it is, CHD is treatable, albeit not curable. Barbara will begin dosing Duncan with Glucosamine and Chondroitin, which taken in combination have been shown to greatly slow down the progress of the disease. We'll also take care to prevent Duncan from doing things that exacerbate the condition, such as jumping, sliding on the hardwood floors, climbing stairs, herding sheep, and so on. Duncan will be with us for a lot more years.

Barbara is off to Cleveland, NC for a Border Collie trial, leaving me with all three dogs and my mother. I may actually be able to get some work done. All four of them are asleep at the moment.

 


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Sunday, 16 April 2000

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Barbara gave me a haircut this morning as Malcolm looked on. He's probably wondering when it will be his turn. Speaking of dogs, Duncan appears to be fully recovered from his vet visit for X-rays. They have to anesthetize a dog to do X-rays. Duncan was pretty woozy for the remainder of the day, and pretty subdued yesterday. I think he thought he'd been abandoned. This was the first time we'd taken him somewhere and left him.

Interesting call from Paul Robichaux last evening. He had a system with a Asus dual-CPU motherboard that was using one Pentium II/350. He went out and bought two matched SL358 Pentium II/450s. When he installed either one separately, the system worked fine. When he removed the terminator from the second CPU socket and installed both processors, he couldn't even get to the BIOS setup screen. Obviously, the motherboard may be defective, but Asus makes pretty good motherboards, so that's not the most likely cause.

I told him that my best guess was that the power supply was inadequate to power two CPUs, each of which pulls 27.1W. It's an Asus power supply, but he wasn't sure if it was a 250W or 300W unit. I told him that a 250W power supply might well be inadequate to power both CPUs. He had a 128 MB DIMM and a 256 MB DIMM installed. I told him to pull the 256 MB DIMM and see if that helped.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Ward-Johnson [mailto:chriswj@mostxlnt.co.uk]
Sent: Saturday, April 15, 2000 2:51 PM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson (E-mail)
Subject: Duncan

Good to hear Duncan's getting good treatment. When I hear stories like this, it always reminds me of a story I did several years running in my tabloid days about the Battersea Dogs Home, the central dog pound in London where stray dogs get taken. 

The paper would run a story every year a week or two before Christmas about the staff there urging people not to buy dogs for Christmas, but the saddest thing to me was that their busiest time of the year was actually just before the holiday - with people literally throwing away old dogs to make way for new puppies. Incredible - in the real sense of the word, i.e. impossible to believe. There were dogs there 10, 11, 12 years old and older who'd obviously been with the same family all their lives who'd been thrown out onto the streets to make way for a new dog because they weren't at the peak of fitness. 

So congratulations to you and those like you who know that dogs are for life. Thanks.

Chris Ward-Johnson 
Chateau Keyboard - Computing at the Eating Edge
http://www.chateaukeyboard.com

Thanks. About 20,000 years ago, a dog approached a human campfire, and humans and dogs struck a deal. We agreed to do what we do best to help them, and they agreed to do what they do best to help us. Over the years, they've held up their end of the deal, almost without exception. Sadly, we've not done the same. It sickens Barbara and me to see how badly many people treat dogs, something that she sees much more of now that she's volunteering for Carolina Border Collie Rescue. I don't hold with the SPCA or animal cruelty laws, because animals are chattel, and people have the right to do as they wish with their own property, including abusing it. But I'd like to horsewhip some of these people all the same.

 


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Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 by Robert Bruce Thompson. All Rights Reserved.