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Daynotes Journal

Week of 10 July 2000

Friday, 05 July 2002 08:23

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 July 2000

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I hate Hewlett-Packard. I hate them all the more because I used to love them. No more, though. 

We disconnected the HP 6200C scanner from my secondary system and carried it back to Barbara's office. We connected everything back up and restarted the system. The Adaptec SCSI host adapter recognized the scanner with no problem. I popped the HP software CD in and installed the scanner software uneventfully. After a restart, I fired up the HPCOPY utility. The scanner started to initialize normally, displaying the "Please wait, warming up lamp" dialog. That should take a few seconds. After more than five minutes, I decided the program was hung. No surprise. HP's scanner software is some of the most unstable software I've ever seen. So I hit the Cancel button to kill the program. I then restarted the program and got the dreaded "unable to communicate with scanner" error message. I went in and killed the application. I found a couple of other HP processes, so I killed those too. Didn't help. The only way to get the scanner recognized again is to reboot the system. So I did that.

After rebooting, I fired up the HP Precision Scan Pro scanning software. Unable to communicate with scanner. I hate HP. They're off my recommended list, and not just for this. They can't seem to deliver Windows 2000 drivers for most of their product line, including models that are in current production. For some devices, they're offering updated drivers, but charging $25 for them. Whoever heard of charging for updated drivers, particularly for current or recent products? Some of their CD burners are the subject of a class action suit. It seems that Carly Fiorina has single-handedly destroyed decades of good will that HP developed among discerning users. Or perhaps it's not fair to blame Carly. She may just have inherited a mess. But HP sure seems to be on a downhill slide. The next time I buy a printer or a scanner or a CD burner or whatever, you can be sure that I won't even consider buying HP.

But I suspect that the problem isn't with the HP6200C hardware itself. The problem is HP's pathetic software. I wonder if there's a good third-party scanning package I can try. It's a wonder that Microsoft hasn't put something in the operating system.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Huth [mailto:mhuth@coldswim.com]
Sent: Sunday, July 09, 2000 4:58 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: On adaptec Cd on other matters

Robert,

I too, purchased a copy of the adaptec cd creator deluxe and have trouble getting it to work under 2000. Of note, however, the CD shipped by HP contains a "full" version and works like a charm. Useful if you have an HP writer.

To continue your driving discussions: Drove up to Portland yesterday (600 miles round trip) in part to visit Frys (but more to look at some furniture my wife wants). However, I was struck that there are an increasing number of people out there who have no concept of "how to drive'. I'm not an expert driver, but when I was younger I took driving and racing courses and I've seen expert drivers. Like most things, becoming expert takes lots of experience. The vast majority of drivers aren't expert, don't have a clue about the capability of their cars, and vastly overrate their own abilities. I have learned a healthy respect for high speeds.

In any event, as I approached Portland, the average speed got faster and faster. Indeed, at one point I was sitting in the right lane of the I-5 at just about 75 mph and watched everyone pass me at between 80 to 90 mph. Clapped out minivans, cars full of children, Dodge pickups, motor homes! When I moved over and picked up the pace and tried to maintain 8-10 car lengths between me and the car in front, people cut in almost continuously. I sound like an old curmudgeon (I'm 47), but this was absurd. Now understand I drive fairly rapidly (my average speed on the way back was 70mph as calculate by onboard computer). I'm amazed more people don't get hurt. It is a tribute to the interstate engineers and a lot of luck.

Sigh, I'll mumble off into the distance.

Finally, saw a stack of intel 810 cards for sale at Fry's for $149 (or $169). They also had a version with a lan card built in. I didn't buy one, but was tempted.

I remember reading a book years ago about the history of the interstate system. I think the original design criteria specified that curves were to be safe at 120 MPH for then-current automobiles, and that was in the mid-50's. I'm also 47, and I've probably started to drive a bit more sanely because of my age. Barbara kids me about driving like a grandmother because I typically drive 50 to 55 in a 55 zone. But that's mainly because of what I'm driving. A 5,500 lb. 4X4 isn't a race car, and it takes quite a long way to stop after you toss out the anchor. If I were driving a Porsche or my old super-bike, I'd probably run just a tad over the speed limit. When I see the speeds that some people drive in ordinary cars on the interstate, I wonder if they've all installed R- or S-rated tires or just don't realize that the M- and N-rated tires they're running aren't rated for anywhere near the speed they're maintaining.

Was it the CA810E or the D810EMO (MO810E) motherboards you saw?

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Sturm [mailto:jpsturm@dingoblue.net.au]
Sent: Sunday, July 09, 2000 5:35 PM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: RE: Matrox G400 & Win2k

I can only echo your sentiments re Matrox. It was sad to see the departure of Hercules and Number Nine from the field. It seems that the graphics market is entirely obsessed with speed at the expense of quality and stability these days.

Apropos the PNP setting, I had gotten into the habit of making sure the setting was = YES. The first beta of NT5 I had any success with required it.

Yes, the departure of Nine is a pity. And I wonder what's going on with Matrox. Just try to find one nowadays. I don't know if they're delivering all their product to OEMs or what, but their retail distribution isn't a shadow of what it used to be. I tried to buy a Matrox board a couple of months ago, and I couldn't find one for sale. Plenty of people were advertising them, but no one had them in stock, or even had a promised date for them. All the manufacturers are competing on 3D performance, which is actually one of the least important issues for most users. It's a shame, but then the big money is in the high-speed adapters. The once robust OEM market for add-on adapters is gradually disappearing as system integrators increasingly use motherboards with embedded video. I wonder how long some of the weaker video adapter makers will survive without the ensured revenue flow of OEM sales.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Martin [mailto:peter_a_martin@hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2000 1:29 AM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: New Hampshire etc.

As someone who has only recently begun to read your site (via Jerry Pournelle), I find it increasingly addictive, even though much of the technical talk is over my head. As for your upcoming move, although I lived in NYC and upstate NY for years, I only spent one weekend in New Hampshire (during an amazingly cold and snow-filled late December). Still, may I say that I think you will love it there. Just based on the personality you display through your writing (strong will, strong mind, both admirable qualities), it sounds like you will fit in perfectly!

Thanks for the kind words. I suspect we're going to like New Hampshire, but getting moved there is going to be a challenge.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Huth [mailto:mhuth@coldswim.com]
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2000 2:13 AM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: RE: On adaptec Cd on other matters

I'm running about in a 97 5 series BMW, which I know is maintained well. I'm running H rated tires (good to 130). I know how fast the BMW stops from 70mph and ya just can't run on someone's bumper and expect that good brakes and good reflexes are going to protect you. One has to have "space" as an old high speed driving instructor told me. Space to brake, space to maneuver. He used to say that when you let them take away your space, you are asking to die in a race car. I was never good enough to dare race cars except in a controlled setting in non-race situation. I'm worse now.

I'm not sure about the board model. Board itself had no isa slots, I think 4 PCI's and was a very small board. I think it was the D810emo, but I'm not sure. Marked as "intels newest board", but one can't trust frys!

That's actually one of the reasons that I tend to drive at about the speed limit on the interstates. Everyone else is so busy speeding that I seldom have anything in front of me. As far as the Intel board, it sounds like a CA810 or CA810E. The D810EMO has only one PCI slot. So Fry's was only lying slightly. Intel has only introduced half a dozen new boards since they shipped the CA810E last fall.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: TraceRoss@aol.com [mailto:TraceRoss@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2000 4:13 AM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Read your Daynote Journal - thanks...

Robert,

Thanks for your journal page. I came across it recently when looking for some objective information on the Intel CA810 motherboard.

I have stayed away from integrated boards in the past because of worries about stability. However, when I saw a few by Intel, I began to consider them.

I am building a few machines for customer soon. Stability is very important because I will be providing support as well. If this board is used, I will need to disable the on-board video and use cards with more memory (I understand that this board has 4 MB video). 2 will have PIII 600's and 1 will have a Celeron 533.

If you have a moment, I would greatly appreciate your opinion about the CA810's stability in general and with the above configuration.

Thanks very much for your feedback.

Intel motherboards (with the exception of the discontinued and recalled CC820) are the most stable motherboards I've ever used. Part of that, of course, is because they don't offer the overclocking options common on other boards, but much of it is due to Intel's emphasis on top-notch engineering and high-quality components. Motherboard companies that focus on the retail market have to incorporate overclocking features and similar things that the enthusiast crowd who are the main market for third-party motherboards are looking for. Intel's thrust is completely different. They don't really care much about the retail market, although they do sell boxed motherboards into that market. What they really care about is the OEM market, companies that'll buy 10,000 or 100,000 motherboards. For those companies, performance isn't a major issue. They want a motherboard that is rock-solid, stable, unlikely to generate many support calls, and so on. Intel boards are perfect for that market.

Although I haven't used the CA810, the CA810E is a solid board. Note, however, that if you want to replace the onboard video, you'll have to do so with a PCI video adapter, because the CA810/E has no AGP slot. Another possibility is the D815EEA Easton motherboard, which is just now starting to ship. This board is based on the new i815E Solano II chipset. It has embedded video, but also offers an AGP slot. I haven't had a chance to do any testing with the Easton yet, but my guess is that it will turn out to be as stable as other Intel boards.

 


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Tuesday, 11 July 2000

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The more I work with Nero Burning Rom, the more I like it, despite the cutesy name. I spent some quality time with it yesterday, burning full data backups on both CD-R and CD-RW media and knocking off copies of distribution discs for Windows NT 4, Windows 2000, Windows 98SE, Office 2000, and so on. In the past, my practice has been to make dupes and work from those, saving the real CDs in their original box. I keep copies of the ten or twelve CDs I need most often in a carrying case designed for audio CDs. For one reason or another, I'd gotten to the point where that case was mostly empty and I was working with the originals instead of dupes. That's a hazardous practice around here. CDs get lost, sat upon, mixed in with stacks of paper, and so on. But now I have a full set of dupes again.

Nero is everything I want in a package to support my CD-RW drives. It's fast, easy-to-use, and can dupe discs that give Easy CD Creator fits. Nero also has a lot of nice little touches. For example, when I stripped my secondary system down to bare metal, I installed Windows 98 SE with pretty much the defaults. I then installed Nero, and was happily burning away. Sunday night, I noticed that power management was enabled, so I turned it off and turned on the Blank Screen screensaver in Windows. 

As I was burning my first CD yesterday, imagine my horror when I realized that I'd forgotten to disable the screen saver before starting the burn. Having a screen saver kick in is a good way to burn a coaster, but then so is trying to do anything about preventing it from kicking in while the disc is burning. So I sat there, hoping that the screensaver wouldn't kick in before the burn completed. It didn't. Nor did it kick in afterwards. That was odd, so I went and checked Display Properties and found that there was no screensaver enabled. I was pretty sure I'd enabled it, but figured that Nero must have been smart enough to turn it off. I exited Nero and forgot for a while what I'd been concerned about. The next time I looked over, the screen was blank. I went into Display Properties. Sure enough, the screensaver was back on. Nero is smart enough to turn off the screensaver while it burns and then turn it back on again when you exit. Very nice.

I've now burned a dozen or more CDs in the Smart & Friendly CD SpeedWriter Plus using the Smart & Friendly 4X media. Not a coaster in the group, despite the previous problems I've had with that media, even in the S&F drive. With Adaptec Easy CD Creator, I'd have gotten at least one coaster in that group, and probably two. Nero is not only faster than Adaptec Easy CD Creator 3.5 and 4.0, it's considerably more reliable. The only downside is that Bad Things happen if I attempt to have both Nero and Adaptec DirectCD installed on the same system. But that's not Nero's fault. The same Bad Things happen when I attempt to have Adaptec Easy CD Creator and Adaptec DirectCD installed on the same system. I sure wish that the Nero folks would ship their InCD packet-writing software for Windows NT 4 and 2000. I suspect it'll work just fine with Nero.

Now if only I could come up with an equally good third-party scanning program to replace the piece of junk that HP bundles with their 6200C scanner.

In the news, AMD announces yet another Athlon variant. For full details, click here.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: David M. Yerka [mailto:LeshaWorks@iname.com]
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2000 11:41 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Moving

Dear Bob,

Saw that you are planning a move to New Hampshire. You realize, of course, that New England is very much an acquired taste--both in weather and people.

I speak as one who lives in Western Massachusetts (Greenfield--approx. 20 miles from both Vermont and New Hampshire--and quite near the Connecticut River). In my area we have a couple more seasons than other places: there is Winter, then Mud Season, then Spring, then Bug Season, then Summer, and finally our best time Autumn. You can't beat our Autumns; when I settled out here 25 or so years ago an old farmer explained to me that God arranged Autumn in New England so that New Englanders would have something to look forward to the rest of the year (sort of the prize for staying around). Let me tell you--he was right.

Also, Massachusetts and New Hampshire have a sort of east/west thing going. It's been going on a while: see Shays Rebellion. The east is cities and industrial and politicians. The western parts of both states are rural and, shall we say, a tad more individualistic. The area where I am is an interesting mix: a lot of conservatives (in the true sense of the conservative), aged 60's liberals, new age liberals, a lot of musicians, writers, painters, and a lot of people who just want to be left alone to tend their own gardens. People are reserved but friendly and, of course, you are still visiting if you've only lived out here 20 years.

With all that it is still a good place to live. I know you'll enjoy it.

Thanks. The seasons up there sound delightful to me, at least compared to what we have down here. I mentioned your message to Barbara, who points out that we have strange additional seasons of our own, including mutant mosquito season. Nothing works against them. We've tried barrage balloons, antiaircraft guns, and Patriot missiles, and they still get through. Until Malcolm got up to 50 pounds, we had to keep a close eye on him to make sure one of the mosquitoes didn't carry him off. Then there's our summer weather. Let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've experienced a "100" day. That's a temperature of 100F (38C) with 100% humidity.

* * * * *

This from someone who requests anonymity:

Well, I can't attest to the quality of the drivers, but if you're willing to set up a machine with Linux, Solaris or even OS/2 there's SANE:

Alternatively, you might wish to try reinstalling some ASPI drivers on your machine. It's worked with me on NT4 anyway. Somehow I managed to escape the problem of having to have the scanner powered up before booting to use it with my Parallel port model. Too bad Steve Gibson hasn't released his ASPI drivers yet. Oh well.

Thanks. I'd consider that for myself, but I can't see Barbara being willing to use Linux, Solaris or OS/2. Good point about the ASPI drivers. I should have thought about that myself. I'll give it a try.

 


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Wednesday, 12 July 2000

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Thanks to everyone who pointed out that Tom Syroid is running an RS/6000 rather than an AS/400. They're all ?S/*0 boxes to me.

As usual, I'm busy building systems, testing new hardware, and writing. Barbara and I are headed down to Athens, Georgia the end of this week to attend the Mystery Writers of America Harriette Austin Writers Conference. My brother is coming over from Raleigh to stay here while we're gone and mom/dog/computer-sit. I'll have a post up tomorrow, but after that I probably won't have anything posted until next Monday. I doubt I'll even have a chance to check my email while I'm gone.

Back to work for me.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Semiconductor Business News [mailto:rkeane@cmp.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 11:27 AM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Intel's tests show PC133 SDRAMs beating Rambus; results on Web site

This article from http://www.seminews.com was sent to you by david1griffin@yahoo.com

david1griffin@yahoo.com says: FYI

Intel's tests show PC133 SDRAMs beating Rambus; results on Web site 

No surprise there. Thanks.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Kerry Liles [kerryliles at home.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 12:28 PM
To: 'webmaster@ttgnet.com'
Subject: Nero Burning Rom

Can you post which version of Nero you are using? I would presume it is the latest 5-something, but just in case it is not... Apologies if you had already posted that information. The reason I suggest this is because the cdrom usenet groups are chock-a-block with warnings about some versions of Nero that makes me nervous about switching away from my version - 4.0.9.1 which does work beautifully with my Yamaha CRW2216e IDE drive.

Regards,

Kerry Liles

Sorry. I thought I'd made it clear that I'm running their demo version, which is a time-limited copy of the current version, set to expire 7/31/00. The Help - About screen shows version 5.0.1.3. I'd not heard about the problems you mention, but Ahead seems to update Nero fairly frequently, so I suspect any problems that crop up are fixed pretty quickly.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: David M. Yerka [mailto:LeshaWorks@iname.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 3:51 PM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: "100" DAYS

Dear Bob,

Actually I think I have experienced a few of those. I have cousins who used to live in Kernersville. We used to visit and my wife and I once spent 2 weeks there in August. Of course, I live in the Connecticut Valley which is not known for mild summers. For years they grew tobacco (for cigar wrappers) in the valley which will give you an idea of what summer can be like: 85-90F. and 70+% humidity. Trouble is, all that doesn't seem to moderate the winters, though recently winter has been cold and dry: much ice but little snow. It used to be snow by the foot but now...(I'd say global warming but I'm afraid Dr. P would get me!).

Anyway, good luck with the move, I do think you'll like it in New England and I know your dogs will.

Thanks. Hmmm. We are seriously looking at the Dartmouth area, so it sounds like we'll want to find a house with central air conditioning. Those seem to be pretty rare in New Hampshire from what we've seen so far. We were also surprised to find that natural gas is unusual there. Apparently, the "Granite State" has so many rocks that it's hard to run natural gas pipelines or something.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Shorty [dShorty@hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 7:31 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Nero Burning Rom

Hi Robert,

Thanks again for this great site!

You said: "I sure wish that the Nero folks would ship their InCD packet-writing software for Windows NT 4 and 2000. I suspect it'll work just fine with Nero."

I just read their site and found this at http://www.ahead.de/en/W2K.htm

...

5.Does InCD work under Windows 2000?

No. But a working release will be available at autumn.

...

Also of interest is the ability to burn 2 or more copies at the same time (i will use this when i buy another CD-R in the near future)

And their "BurnPROOF" feature looks very interesting. I am in the process of setting up a scsi CD-R drive right now and already have adaptec's easy CD Creator v3.5. I was going to upgrade to version 4.0, but the you only get $20 USD off the purchase price for upgrading; and with your recommendations i will get Nero Burning Rom instead.

Amoung other things, I am a multi-media developer and IT guy. I am putting an American Indian language (Tlingit) on CD-ROM; thus, several of the other features (see the site) look interesting. This is one of my areas of expertise, so if i can give back to this community, please let me know.

Dan Shorty 

Thanks for the kind words. You might want to download the Nero demo version to make sure it does everything you need to do. The "demo version" is actually the full product, but with a fixed time-out. The one currently posted dies 7/31/00. I've been on the Nero web site in the past and the demo version they have up always expires soon after the current date, so I suspect that every month they just post the current version set to time out at the end of the current month.

BURNproof indeed seems like a revolutionary advance, although it is not a Nero technology. I believe that it is a Sanyo invention, which has been licensed by Plextor (and presumably some other CD-R makers). If a buffer underrun occurs, BURNproof simply turns off the laser and then, when the buffer has data again, turns the laser back on and starts burning where it left off. But using BURNproof requires that the software support it, which Nero does.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Shawn Wallbridge [mailto:swallbridge@home.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 12:32 AM
To: Robert Thompson
Subject: Scanning Software

Here is a URL for some third party scanning software that was mentioned in Extra! Magazine p.33 (a special issue from Windows 2000 Magazine). It is called Art-Scan Pro 4.2.

Thanks. I may give it a try.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Jan Swijsen [mailto:qjsw@oce.nl]
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 7:02 AM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson
Subject: as/400

<quote> Tom Syroid is in the process of relocating it from the web hosting company where it has been running to his own IBM AS/400 server and has experienced some problems with the move. </quote>

No way. Hydras is an RS/6000 (S80 I think), definitively not an AS/400. Ok both run on the same family of chip and both run a 64bit OS but that is about where the similarity ends.

<quote> In the news, AMD announces yet another Athlon variant. For full details, click here. </quote>

Great, I want one for home. Why home? Well there I don't have one yet, at the office we already have loads of them. Most are nicknamed 'manager'.

-- 
Svenson.

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

Yep. I used to report to one of those myself.

 


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Thursday, 13 July 2000

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Connectivity is awful this morning, and I'm not sure that RoadRunner is at fault. I can get to some sites normally, but not others. Among those I can't get to are my own site at pair Networks. I also can't get to Pournelle's, Tom's Hardware, or any other sites that I know are hosted at pair, so the problem may be a cut cable. On the other hand, some sites I can get to find one minute time-out the next, so there may be some kind of serious Internet-wide problem going on. If you've sent me mail and gotten a bounce or just haven't gotten a reply, please be patient. I'm sure it's all queued up somewhere.

A moment ago, some new mail showed up, so I now have at least some connectivity to pair Networks. I'm going to try to publish this while I have a window to so so. I think I may just use FTP, because I'm afraid my connectivity will die while FrontPage is busy thinking about publishing. There's more mail, but that'll have to wait until Monday. There probably won't be any posts tomorrow through Sunday unless I get ambitious and try updating remotely.

The Register reports that Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 will be available for download next Monday. Something obviously happened between the nearly 200 MB beta version of this service pack and the release version, which Microsoft says will be between 50 and 60 MB. I suspect the Microsoft ftp servers will be overloaded Monday, but I'm not sure why. If this SP1 is like every other SP1 in recent memory, it's likely to cause more problems than it fixes. SP2 is usually about a break-even proposition, breaking and fixing about an equal number of things. Not until SP3 does Microsoft usually get it (mostly) right. 

After years of watching early SP releases, I've concluded that the concept of "regression testing" is meaningless to Microsoft. I may download Service Pack 1, just so that I have it, but I certainly don't plan to install it on any production machines. Come to that, I don't have any production machines to install it on, because I don't run Windows 2000 on any machine I care about. I recommend that my readers avoid installing SP1 for at least a couple weeks after its release, and preferably a month. Let other people get the arrows in their backs. I'm sure we'll be hearing lots of horror stories about SP1 before long. SP1a probably won't be long in arriving.

Barbara and I are off to the Mystery Writers of America conference in Athens, Georgia tomorrow morning. My brother is coming over to stay here while we're gone. I charged the batteries for the Olympus D-400Z digital camera last night, so basically all I need to do is throw a couple spare pair of underwear and socks in my purse and I'm ready to go. I'll try to post some shots of the conference when I get back. It'd be nice if the new cell phone showed up from AT&T today, since we'd like to take it with us. They said four business days, which I think was Tuesday. Oh, well.

And speaking of the digital camera, here's a shot I took last night of Malcolm standing on the love seat. There are more over on Barbara's Border Collie page.

malcolm-two-toys-2.jpg (40989 bytes)

Malcolm in a typical pose. He almost always has at least one toy in his mouth, often two, and sometimes three. His eyes were red and yellow last night. Sometimes they're blue, green, purple, white, or orange. I call him Damien and claim he's possessed. Barbara says that's ridiculous, but she's never been here when his head starts spinning around and he speaks ancient Chaldean in a deep, gravelly voice.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: David M. Yerka [mailto:LeshaWorks@iname.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 9:04 AM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: New England weather

Dear Bob:

Yes, central air is nice. The best thing about it, done right, is that it prevents those temp/humidity extremes from acting on stuff in the house. Alternate damp & dry, hot & cold can really beat on hardwood floors and old furniture. Not to mention electronics.

We tend to be a "bottled gas" area rather than natural gas. I'm lucky as my town has had "town gas" since the early 1900's when it was considered a necessity. As far as modern times its more the rockheads and not the rocks that have tended to block natural gas pipelines. A few years back a consortium wanted to run a major gas line down from Canada. It would have actually followed a pre-existing construction, Interstate 91, either under the central median or next to the road--minimal impact and minimal construction cost plus low impact on existing landscape. A group of ecology and Naderite groups blocked it. It mostly wasn't a politically correct idea. Instead, we see the bulk of Northeastern's burning oil or electric heat--and we all know how that effects pocketbooks.

The Dartmouth area is beautiful and actually you might find that you don't need air conditioning all that much. Where I am is valley and with that and the river you get a greenhouse type effect. Dartmouth is about 90 minutes drive from where I am and is much higher.

You should come up here during "leaf-peeker" season. An drive through the Northeast during mid-Autumn when the leaves are changing...well it shows the reason why New Englanders find it hard to move anywhere else.

We'll be spending the first week of October in New Hampshire, so I assume there'll still be some leaves left. I'm not sure why environmentalists would block a natural gas pipeline and thereby force the continued use of electricity and oil, but then I've never met an environmentalist for whom I had any respect, intellectual or otherwise, so I guess it's not surprising.

 


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Friday, 14 July 2000

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Okay, I lied. I was going to leave for the Mystery Writers of America conference without posting this morning, but I needed to get some of this mail out of my inbox. We're off. Back sometime Sunday, and there probably won't be much if anything here until Monday morning.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Chuck Waggoner [waggoner at gis dot net]
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 4:06 PM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson (E-mail)
Subject: Intel D810EMO

I've spent the afternoon calling around Boston and surfing the web, and can't find ANYBODY who sells Intel motherboards. Some locals refuse to believe that Intel even makes motherboards.

Any advice on where I could get a D810EMO?

Good question. I typically get products considerably in advance of their actual retail availability. Intel told me that the D810EMO was shipping, and I'm sure that's true. But it's shipping to large system integrators, and the Retail Box version isn't yet widely available. I talked to a couple of mail order vendors who said that they had the boards on order but weren't expecting them in until the first of next month. I'll check some other sources and see what I can come up with.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Chuck Waggoner [waggoner at gis dot net]
Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2000 3:07 PM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson (E-mail)
Subject: Intel D810EMO

Found it!

Shawn Wallbridge's contact Chris, at Designer Graphics in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has access to up to 30 of them. Just bought two from him.

Thanks for the tip on this board.

By the way, it's a daily pleasure to read your entries. As we say in TV: you've got your finger on my pulse, for sure.

Ah, well that means I don't have to find them. Thanks. I'm sure you'll like the board. Just don't try putting it in one of those little bitty cases...

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Sturm [mailto:jpsturm@dingoblue.net.au]
Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2000 5:33 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Environmentalists

Robert

You wrote:

"I'm not sure why environmentalists would block a natural gas pipeline and thereby force the continued use of electricity and oil, but then I've never met an environmentalist for whom I had any respect, intellectual or otherwise, so I guess it's not surprising."

As a long time advocate, practitioner and one-time promoter of organic farming (for sound scientifics and economic reasons), I had the misfortune to spend a lot of time with these loonies! Here is their latest stand in my fair neck of the woods. Having spent the last two decades opposing logging of our forest, they are now trying to stop tree plantations, something they used to say should be done to protect the forests. Go figure! Apparently, the planting of trees in ranks is aesthetically displeasing.

One of these so-called Greens, Peg Putt, has a seat in our parliament. She and her husband have to cut their own firewood because the local timber cutters refuse to sell to them <vbg>

I must add that I quite like Peg and Alistair, I just have no intellectual respect for Peg. Alistair once suggested to the head of our Farmers & Graziers Association that local farmers should be in charge of forestry, rather than boards of management in London, Tokyo or New York. I really enjoyed the look on the guy's face. Common-sense from a Greenie (or anyone else for that matter) is a rare experience.

Yes, "common sense" and "environmentalist" are essentially mutually exclusive.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Huth [mailto:mhuth@coldswim.com]
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2000 12:28 AM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: Cooling Fans

Robert, 

I need to find a cpu cooling fan which has a lower profile than the standard intel supplied cooling fans. The fan should allow me to cool an Intel Pentium III 650 FC-PGA mounted on a socket II card. The intel cooler projects so far off the chip that I can't get the second CPU onto the board. I've slogged through bunches of sites over the past couple of hours. Perhaps you or one of your readers might have a suggestion?

Good question, and I don't know the answer. It may be that PC Power & Cooling has a usable cooling solution for you, but I'm not sure. There are two issues here. First, the heatsink/fan must provide adequate cooling, which not all will do merely because they physically fit the chip. Second, the FC-PGA (Flip Chip PGA) processors are so called because the actual processor chip sits on top of the assembly, where it comes into direct contact with the heatsink. The danger here is that a heatsink not specifically designed for the FC-PGA processor can actually crack the processor chip.

If PC Power & Cooling doesn't have something usable, your best be may be to try some of the mail order places that cater to overclockers. I don't recall the names of any of those places off the top of my head, but if you check AnandTech and similar pages, you'll find that these places tend to lend gear to them and advertise there. Good luck.

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Jan Swijsen [mailto:qjsw@oce.nl]
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2000 4:12 AM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson
Subject: testing environmentalists

>I've concluded that the concept of "regression testing" is meaningless to Microsoft.

Your kidding. Do you know any business that does regression testing? Even standard module testing is passed on to users these days. >but then I've never met an environmentalist for whom I had any respect, intellectual or otherwise,

You of course mean the loud voiced activists pretending to be ...

Technically an environmentalist is a person studying the environment. Most of them are quite respectable and intelligent people. Until their research is picked up by clue less journalists who must sell 'news' and pick only a few statements out of the preface, casting them in a different context producing articles beginning with "Environmentalists have discovered ....". And the politically active @#$% take that for 'scientific truth' (after bending and filtering it for their agenda) and act on it.

-- 
Svenson.

Sure. IBM does regression testing on software, or at least they used to. I suspect they still do. It's no doubt too deeply engrained in their culture for them to abandon it.

As far as environmentalists, studying anything scientifically, I don't think so. The term "environmentalist scientist" is an oxymoron. Environmentalists have a political agenda. Scientists do not. The proper term for a scientist who studies the environment is "ecologist" (or "biologist" or "chemist" or "physicist" or ....).

* * * * *

-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Sturm [mailto:jpsturm@dingoblue.net.au]
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2000 7:54 AM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson
Subject: Caldera Open Linux

Every so often, I install yet another distribution of Linux, just to see how things are progressing in Linuxland. Today it was the turn of Caldera OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4. Much to my amazement, one of the earliest phases of what was otherwise a surprisingly troublefree Windows type install included a blast of music at full volume. My loudspeakers do not have an electronic volume control; just a virtual one. While a chance to control the volume came later in the install, it was too late for my loudspeakers. They had expired. Presumably from the eDesktop. I assume the e before desktop means explode. I feared for my monitor also, as the intensity of the sound affected the internal circuitry sufficiently to severely distort the image on the screen. I don't think Linux is quite ready for the normal user yet. Somehow this reminded me of MegaDeath, the heavy metal rock band in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Perhaps there ought to be an entry in the Guide: beware Linux unless you enjoy the stink of vapourised heavy metal!

Wow. Thanks. Perhaps you'll save someone else having to buy new speakers.

 


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