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Daynotes Journal

Week of 6 November 2000

Friday, 05 July 2002 08:03

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, 6 November 2000

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Thanks to everyone who's already bought a copy of our latest book, PC Hardware in a Nutshell. If you haven't ordered a copy yet, why not click the link and do so now? Thanks.


Well, I was supposed to be hosting a roundtable on PlanetIT starting this morning, but I can't get their web site to accept posts from me. They'd mentioned last week that they were in the process of revamping their roundtables entirely, and it appears that they don't have all the bugs fixed yet. I've sent urgent mail to the guy who runs things to let him know what's going on. Once things are up and running I'll post a notice here to that effect.

I said last Saturday how much I'd enjoyed A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold's latest book. I've mentioned before that I collect ultra-modern first editions. Lois told me about a couple sources I hadn't been aware of for signed firsts of her novels. She says in part: 

If you're serious about a first edition of _ACC_, which are mostly off the shelves of regular bookstores by now, both Dreamhaven Books & Comics and Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore here in Minneapolis have signed first editions, and they both do mail order. I think they both have websites now, too. (Be sure to specify you want a first printing, if you do order there.)

NESFA Press's hardcover reprint of _Shards of Honor_ is now available, too. It too could be obtained signed thru Hugo's or Dreamhaven.

Bujold is a top-notch author, and her books are worth having just for their original purpose of being read. But I notice that Bujold first editions, even some very recent ones, are commonly offered at prices in the $50 to $100 range, so they may end up being good investments as well.

I'd better get to work. I have more work to do than time to do it.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jaydonalds@aol.com [mailto:Jaydonalds@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 2:11 AM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: Recovering a Hard Drive

Mr. Thompson,

I have a weird request and I can't think of a better person to ask. I have a hard drive installed in an old 486/66 box. The person who installed it over torqued the mounting screws. Can I safely drill out the screw heads? I am worried about metal particles getting into the works. Once I get the drive out, what is the best way to copy files I need onto my current hard drive. This is an EIDE Quantum 5-6 Gig drive. I also want to add this drive to my present system. It is now configured into three logical drives: C,D,E. Do I need to scrape it down to bare metal? I know that I need to get another IDE port.

Thanks for any advice, I always read your daily postings. That's why I wrote you.

Thanks in Advance,

John Vogt

Yep, that's a new one on me. If you have data you care about on that drive, I'd recommend that you get it off the drive before you begin using power tools on it. If there's too much data to copy off to floppies, the easiest solution is probably to install a network card in the box and copy the stuff over the network to another machine. Another possibility would be to install a tape drive temporarily in the machine and pull a couple of backup tapes. Alternatively, if you have a CD writer that you can temporarily install, you may be able to get the data off that way, although a 486/66 is pretty slow to use for writing CDs. But whatever you do, get the data off before you start drilling.

Once you get the data off, you can start thinking about salvaging the drive itself. You're right to be concerned about damaging the drive, although perhaps not for the reason you think. The drive itself is sealed, so metal particles aren't likely to enter it in the normal course of things. The danger is in drilling too deep. Depending on the particular drive, the screw holes may have the circuit board assembly behind them, or they may have the HDA (head-disk assembly) behind them. If the former, you can drill very carefully, making sure not to overdrill and put the bit into the circuit board. If the latter, you're drilling blind. Putting that drill bit through the thin metal that separates the bottom of the screw hole from the inside of the HDA will destroy the drive instantly.

The best solution would be to use a stud remover, but as far as I know they're not available in the tiny size you'd need for those screws. Even if they were, the cheap metal used in those screws would probably make it impossible to back the screws out. If it were me, I'd probably try cutting or filing the heads off the screws, spreading the chassis far enough to get the drive out, and then grabbing the stubs of the screws with a good pair of pliers and turning the screw out. If that doesn't work, you can gently file the screw studs down flush with the frame and mount the drive in the new machine using the unused screw holes (there should be several) on the sides and/or bottom of the drive.

Even if you do wreck the drive while trying to salvage it, you haven't lost all that much. New hard drives sell for between $5 and $10 per GB, so your 5.6 GB is about $30 worth. I see that new Seagate U10 10.2 GB 5,400 RPM drives are selling for something like $70 now, so depending on how highly you value your time it may be cheaper just to buy a new drive.

If you do succeed in salvaging it, you definitely want to strip it down to bare metal and then repartition and reformat it. On a 486/66, it's almost certain that the drive was installed using either an obsolete translation scheme or some kind of device driver to allow accessing the full drive size. Neither of those is going to transfer very well to a more recent system, so you're better off just treating the drive as bare and starting from scratch.


-----Original Message-----
From: yarvin@cs.yale.edu
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 7:40 AM
To: rbt@ttgnet.com
Subject: Some things you might be interested in

I've just finished an essay on the effects of Social Security, and put it up on the web. It's not long, or even very complicated, but don't read it until you have half an hour or so to think; it explains a large proportion of today's most ominous trends.

It is at:

http://yarvin.addr.com/ed/ss.html

Also on that site are my Usenet archives; the main index is at:

http://yarvin.addr.com/

That won't be the permanent name (or probably even location) for the site, but it'll work for a while.

--
Norman Yarvin 
yarvin@cs.yale.edu

Good essay. Thanks. There's indeed a lot to think about there.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff [mailto:SVJeff@hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 4:42 AM
To: robert@hardwareguys.com
Subject: Plextor CD variation?

Hello Robert.

I've been meaning to send you a note and was thinking whether to send it here (since it applies to the system recommendations) or to your usual TTG address.

I was reminded to send it this weekend as I ventured to Oklahoma City to help a friend build a new Duron system. I've read on your Daynotes page for months now about your favored Plextor CD-RW. My buddy bought a TDK VeloCD (http://www.tdk.com/velocd-new/) and was told by a sales rep that the drive is actually manufactured by Plextor. The only reason I gave this counsel any credence is that the VeloCD IS the same speed as the Plextor and it DOES include the BURN-Proof technology. (I've seen few, if any, other drives that do - so it seems plausible at least.) The compelling feature to me is that Nero 5.0 is included in the software bundle, effectively saving $69 plus shipping.

Just a thought that I speculated you either might be interested in (at the least) or able to verify (at the most).

I'm off to the Twin City this week for some time with family over Thanksgiving. Hope all is well out Reynolda way...

I'll go ahead and post it here, since I don't have any mechanism in place for posting reader mail over on the HardwareGuys.com web site. I have no idea who makes the TDK drive. It may in fact be Plextor, but not necessarily. Obviously, speed is nothing to judge by. As far as BURN-Proof, it's a technology developed by Sanyo and licensed to CD writer manufacturers, including Plextor. Plextor was the first to ship a drive with BURN-Proof, but there will soon be many other manufacturers doing the same. 

Some months ago I encouraged some of the executives at Plextor to consider bundling Nero rather than EasyCD. I'm sure there are a lot of issues there, including contractual obligations and concern for buyer perceptions. The average person buying a CD burner considers EasyCD to be a premium software product and Nero to be a no-name substitute, so from a marketing perspective some might consider EasyCD a "gotta-have". Those of us who know better realize that the situation is exactly the opposite, but reality and marketing decisions are often out of phase. But I would like to see Plextor begin bundling Nero.

 


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Tuesday, 7 November 2000

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The ILOVEYOU virus is going around again. Barbara got a "love letter" email from one of her friends this morning. We're secure around here--I've deleted vscript.exe and cscript.exe from all of our systems--so there wasn't any direct danger to us. Barbara forwarded it to me, and it is indeed the ILY virus in its original form. So if you get a love letter from one of your friends, don't open it. Pick up the phone and call them to let them know what's going on, encourage them to warn everyone in their address books about the virus, and point them to one of the antivirus web sites for instructions on what to do to eradicate the infection and secure their machines against a re-infection.

The roundtable I'm hosting over on PlanetIT finally goes live this morning, after a week or so of delays caused by their revamping of the site. The roundtable title is "Getting The Most From CD-R/RW Technology". I don't want to throw a party and have no one show up, so please head over to PlanetIT and participate in my roundtable. Please. You have to join PlanetIT before they'll let you post, and I always have qualms about providing the information that sites like this require for joining. If you feel the same, lie to them. Use a disposable email account like one from Yahoo Mail or whatever. But do please participate. It'll be very embarrassing if I end up all dressed up with nowhere to go. You can join by visiting www.planetit.com, clicking on the roundtables link, and following the prompts to create a new account for yourself.

Yesterday was a much-needed administrative day. I had bunches of stuff to do, none of which had anything directly to do with writing, but all of which needed done. I spent part of the day looking into alternatives for providing a messageboard or forums, or whatever you want to call it. The idea, of course, is to provide an area where people can post messages without my intervention. I would spend a fair amount of time replying to messages posted there, but when I need a few hours (or a few days) without interruption, the forums could continue in my absence.

Chris Ward-Johnson (Dr. Keyboard) is already doing pretty much what I want to do. See his messageboards here. On the upside, using something like ezboard makes it very quick and easy to get up and running, and to maintain the service once it's working. It's also free. The downsides are that the service is advertising supported (of course), that I wouldn't have any direct control over the data (what happens if the server crashes or the company goes out of business? All the old stuff is gone forever, apparently) and that using such a service exposes my readers to banner ads, advertisers, tracking companies, and so on. But using something like ezboard is easy, takes next to no time to implement, and is free, whereas the alternatives are hard, time-consuming, and expensive. So I'm not sure what to do. But I need to do something.


-----Original Message-----
From: Poacher, Chris (C.) [mailto:cpoacher@ford.com]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 9:53 AM
To: 'topics@ttgnet.com'
Subject: Zip Comments.

Hi there, my name's Chris from South Wales in the UK and I can understand why some people are dissing the Zip Drives in favour of CDR's. let me tell you this though, I have a SCSI Zip 100 which I used in a daisy link between an AKAI S2000 professional Sampler with 32MB. basically I can use the Zip for PC AND the Sampler at the Same time. The entire sampler memory is backed up in less than a 30 seconds (probably faster than PC usage) with no driver problems whatsoever. I can save in 'x' amount of partitions if I want which can speed up sampler access time too. The little beauty even saved all my Cubase Files, Wave Samples, Software, Graphics etc when my 'not unsurprisingly' fallible PC keeled over; thus having to format the Harddrive and start again. Well done me little fella!!! I'm in the process of buying another Parallel version as I have a sad overworked little laptop running Cubasis on Windows 3.11 which I use for gigs and P.A.'s. as the keyboard is knacked and NO CD ROM!! It will enable me to backup everything from the main PC to the laptop effortlessly instead of faffing with floppies. I take my hat off (if I had one) and the two units only cost me 80 from Web yellow pages. about $120 I think.

Thanks
Chris Poacher.
emulator@spacestation.co.uk

Sure, there are situations where a ZIP drive makes sense, but those situations are getting rarer. The real problems with the ZIP drive are all media-related--small capacity, high cost, and relative unreliability. For most applications, CD-R/RW makes more sense. The discs hold from twice to seven times as much data as ZIP disks, they're one tenth the price, and, as optical media, they're considerably more reliable than flexible magnetic media like ZIP disks. As with many other computer technologies--many inkjet printers and some tape drives come immediately to mind--the cost to feed the device is a much bigger factor than the cost of the device itself. If you can get away with buying only a ZIP disk or two, that's one thing. But if you intend to do things with a ZIP drive that would require having half a dozen or more disks over the life of the drive, you're probably better off with CD-R/RW.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Kershner [mailto:jrk@wizardskeep.org]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 10:22 AM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Drilling out HD Screws

Robert;

Might I suggest that John Vogt might try using a Dremel with a cutoff wheel to remove the heads of those mounting screws? He should then be able to jockey the drives out of the mounting cage and remove the shafts with a set of locking pliers (Vise-Grips).

Jim Kershner
www.wizardskeep.org

That's certainly another possibility. Thanks. I used to have a Dremel MotoTool probably 25 years ago. I have no idea where it got to. Perhaps I should put one on my gift list.


-----Original Message-----
From: John Rice [mailto:rice@vx5.com]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 10:40 AM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: Recovering a Hard Drive

Robert,

Regarding Mr Vogts hard drive. Did you miss the obvious ?

It's probably easier (and faster) to temporarily add a second hard drive to the box to copy any and all essential files to, than any of the alternatives you mentioned.

John
core
coredump@enteract.com

Yes, certainly, if he has a spare hard drive sitting around. It sounded to me from his description as though he didn't, though. Most people have only hard drives that are in use, so they're not likely to want to use one as a transfer device. Based on his statement that he'd need another IDE port, I figured he had four ATA/ATAPI devices on his main system, and that one of them might be either a CD recorder or a tape drive. But you're right that I should have mentioned that option.


-----Original Message-----
From: jbruss@csus.edu [mailto:jbruss@csus.edu]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 1:09 AM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject:

Well! Thanks for the update on Malcolm et al. I was wondering if something untoward had happened to the doggies...but apparently all is well. Have you considered a future in pet psychology?

On to more business-oriented stuff: got PCHIAN two weeks ago. It is already dog-eared and the spine is shot...my fault, I assure you; the book is solidly constructed. Anyhow, love the book, it's simply the best (and only?) book of its kind out there. Highly recommended. But I have a question: why no chapter on modems? Just wondering...I've always wanted to read your opinion on various modems. I am perplexed by my modem. Although I have a cable modem now, until I got it, the best performing modem I ever had was an ISA US Robotics modem. Why in the heck would that thing outperform the latest and greatest PCI thingamabob (no, not a Winmodem, can't stand those).

'Til next time,

Jeffrey T. Bruss
jbruss@csus.edu or
jtbruss@home.com
www.hardwareconnection.com/jeffland

In a word, space. Going in, we were afraid that the book would end up being too large for a Nutshell. It turned out to be around 500 pages, which is on the very large side for a Nutshell, but not the biggest one out there. I may add a chapter on modems to the next edition, and there will certainly be a chapter on modems in the book Pournelle and I are working on. Modems are much less a problem nowadays than they used to be. Back when we all used BBSs, many of us became experts in the arcana of modem init strings and so on. Nowadays, nearly everyone connects only to an ISP for Internet access, and lets Windows take care of the init strings and so on. I used to be able to sit there giving AT commands and make a modem sit up and bark. Nowadays, I'm lucky to remember how to use ATDT. I suspect most other people are in the same boat. But it'll all come back to me when I do the chapter. 

As far as your ISA USR, modems are inherently low-speed devices, so ISA versus PCI isn't relevant from a performance perspective. USR simply makes superb modems, or at least they did years ago when I used modems a lot and wouldn't have even thought about using anything else. Ask anyone who ran a BBS, and chances are he'll tell you he used USR modems. They simply worked better. They were faster, they were more compatible with a broad range of calling modems. They kept a connection up under line conditions that a less modem would simply have given up on and dropped the connection. Same thing from the calling end. If any modem would get your call through, it was a USR.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Bowman [mailto:DanBowman@worldnet.att.net]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 12:08 PM
To: Jaydonalds@aol.com
Cc: 'RBT'
Subject: Lest we forget how things used to be...

John,

Depending on how savvy you are on networking and hardware installs...

One software solution to your problem is LapLink (or one if its clones).

Some assumptions: You can boot both systems and you have parallel port access to both.

You'll have to buy the full version of LapLink to get their crossover cable, unless you have one from days past or a local geekhaus has one for sale (locally they go for a few dollars for the knock offs). ...and don't buy an older version (pre 8?) as it will not handle long file names. It's not cheap, but they have rebates if you have a prior license and the cost may compare favorably to your other options. I believe the base price is $169 for the full version with cable.

Install LapLink on both systems; connect the cable; set your options and just let it trundle. It will take a long while to transfer things if that disk is full, but it seems likely you aren't going to transfer the OS or many Windows programs. You will also be able to chose which files and directories you want to move.

As far as a hardware solution: if both machines boot, I'm with Bob on the network option. If you have an Office Depot back there, they (and many others) have "network in a box" kits with two NICs, a min-hub and cable for a comparable cost. If you can catch their clearance sale, I've seen these kits for $49.95. Even over 10base, you'll be able to transfer more quickly than with LapLink.

...and give that grandkid another kiss from me<g>,

Yet another possible solution. Thanks.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Farquhar [mailto:farquhar@lcms.org]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 12:06 PM
To: Jaydonalds@aol.com
Cc: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: Over-torqued screws on hard drive

Before drilling out screws or going to other extreme measures, you might try loosening the screws with a pair of locking vise grips. Just clamp onto the screws as tightly as possible, then turn as hard as you can. Usually you can get enough torque this way to loosen the screws enough to get them out. I've frequently removed over-tight or stripped screws this way, without resorting to power tools. (I can't think of the last time this trick didn't work for me.)

I hope this helps.

Dave Farquhar
http://thesiliconunderground.editthispage.com

Well, yes. I was thinking that he'd probably tried all the reasonable ways to get the screws out before considering using a power drill, but it doesn't hurt to mention trying the easy way first. Thanks.


The following is actually the final message in a series that I exchanged privately with Bo, wherein he mentioned that Sweden uses 220V for normal receptacles and 330V for hard-wired stuff. Thus my reference to Toasted Swede stories.

-----Original Message-----
From: Bo Leuf [mailto:bo@leuf.com]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 12:35 PM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson
Subject: RE: mains voltages

Robert Bruce Thompson, on 6 Nov 2000, at 9:04, you wrote:

> Hmmm. I'm surprised we don't hear more Toasted Swede stories...

Yeah, surprising is it not? The official line is that we have such good electrical safety standards and people aren't allowed to muck with the wiring on their own. You can believe as much of that as you want - - I've seen enough DIY fun by others in my life, and there are always a few enterprising people who manage to wire their apartments on a neighbor's meter.

Another surprising factor is that our grounded recepticles are not keyed in the same way as for example the British ones. Since the plugs can be inserted 180 degrees off, there is no particular effort to identify live and neutral, only ground.

A lot of (older) homes have along-the-baseboard and up-the-walls style mains wiring, rather than the between-the-studs model. This makes it easier to spot obvious problems.

The worst horror stories I've heard have however involved so-called professionals. My parents-in-law once had their stove changed many years ago. As I heard the story, after the electricians left (after quickly verifying that the hotplates got warm), my father-in-law thought that it started to feel warm in the kitchen. All hotplates were full on. No matter what he tried, he couldn't turn them off (three phase hard-wired, so it wasn't the usual fuse box and mains breaker either). He got the electricians back in the nick of time -- red- glowing plates -- terribly sorry, incorrectly hooked up. I'm not sure whether the actual stove was "live" instead of grounded, but either way, it was a shoddy job. We've also had stories about workmen who do repairs and insert nail/wire-fuses, and forget to remove them afterwards.

As you say, toast anyone?

/ Bo
--
Bo Leuf
Leuf Consultancy
LeufCom -- http://www.leuf.com/

Yes, I'm surprised that in Sweden electrocution isn't a leading cause of death (if not *the* leading cause of death). The type of wiring you refer to is called K&T or Knob & Tube wiring over here. It looks really antique and dangerous, but it's actually a pretty safe way to wire things. Of course, most of the K&T wiring in US homes is at least 60 or 70 years old, so there are issues like insulation breaking down and so on. Workmen jumping a fuse with a penny or a nail isn't unknown over here, either, although it's getting less common as most homes built in the last 40 or 50 years have breakers rather than fuses. Still, I've seen workmen pop a 15A or 20A breaker and substitute a 30A "temporarily", so that's not much better.


-----Original Message-----
From: Warrick M. Locke [mailto:warlocke@mesh.net]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 1:42 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: 220

You told Dave Cefai (sp?) about 220 vs 110 but you left out something very important for Europeans to understand. Our 220 is NOT the same as their 220.

Individual branch circuits in both systems have one wire "hot" and one wire "neutral". In Europe, that means a 220V circuit has a "neutral" connection. The neutral is effectively ground; it's connected to ground at the distribution box, but since it carries current it doesn't count as a real ground -- you still have to have the green (or green/yellow) wire.

In the European system the neutral is the center of the "star" or "wye" three-phase distribution, so it's pretty much a for-real ground.

In the US, the neutral is a center-tap on one side of a "delta" three-phase. We get 220 volts by combining the two -- you can't get 220 by combining any two random hot wires, but if you select hot wires from opposite sides of the center tap, you get 220 volts.

European appliances are designed like ours, i.e. on the assumption that one leg is neutral. Simply connecting a European 220V appliance to American 220V is very dangerous unless you know for sure it's designed properly, because BOTH LEGS of the American 220 are "hot".

Regards,
Ric Locke

Good point. But then, I'm not an electrician. I don't even play one on TV.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Barrett [mailto:jonzann@altavista.net]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 2:52 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: SETI@Home performance

I'm also seeing faster processing with SETI@Home 3.

I've been keeping track of the reported time intervals as much as possible, and using GUI 2.4, my Omnibook 800 Pentium 166/Win98 (2 units captured) had times of 44 and 54 hr. With 3.0, I have times of 37 and 40 hrs. Another OB800/166 runing Windows 2KP under SETI3.0 has times of 30 hr. 55 min and 31 hr. 30 min. for the character version.

Using a Dell PII/400 Latitude CPi, NT4/Character version, times under 2.4 were between 11 hr. 20 min. and 13 hr, clustered around 12 hr. 15 min. (36 units). Under 3.0, I've gotten times between 7hr. 43 min and 10 hr. 15 min. (13 units), clusters around 9 and 10 hr.

An Omnibook 900 PIII/500 using 2.4 character mode W2KP had times between 10 hr 39 min and 11 hr. 14 min., 4 of the 6 WUs were within 10 min. of 11 hr. even. Under 3.0 character mode, the 3 completed units were between 9 hr. 14 min. and 9 hr. 36 min. The current unit is projected (SETISpy) at 9 hr. 47 min.

The numbers seem pretty consistent. There's no overlap between the 2.4 and 3.0 times and the 3.0 times look to be averaging 10% or so faster. I haven't been running SETISpy long enough to see if it'll have any noticable impact.

Jon
Jon Barrett
jonzann@altavista.net
Kensington, MD.

Hmm. You're seeing a lot more variation with the v2 client than I did. On my systems, the time/unit seems to be almost identical (within perhaps 1%) on any given system. Or so it's been each time I've looked. I understand that with v2 you sometimes encounter a bad work unit, which the client gives up on relatively soon, so perhaps you had some of those. As far as v3, I haven't run it, so all I can go by is what SETI mentions in the FAQ, which is that it is about 40% slower than the v2 client overall. They do mention that processing time per unit varies a lot more with the V3 client, so perhaps you've been on a lucky streak.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jaydonalds@aol.com [mailto:Jaydonalds@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 5:56 PM
To: DanBowman@worldnet.att.net; dfarq@swbell.net; webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Thanks

To all of you guys - THANKS. I knew there was a reason I didn't want to use a power tool to remove the hard drive. The box it resides in will not boot. So I want to recover some partitions on the "D:" and "E:" partitions. If I can get the bear into another box; I can copy the darn files Thanks again for your prompt support John Vogt

There is no Copyright on this mail

Hope it works out for you. I've gone to some pretty extreme lengths myself to recover data from a failing drive. We used to disassemble drives all the time, and put the working electronics from one on the working HDA of another to come up with a usable drive that would last at least long enough to get the data off it. On one notable occasion, I had a 20 MB Seagate ST225 drive that had crashed. I mean, crashed as in we heard it grinding. Figuring there was nothing to lose, I took the drive into another guy's office (he didn't smoke), used a plant mister I'd borrowed from the receptionist to mist down as much dust as I could, popped the lid on the drive, and used a can of compressed air to blow as much of the stuff off the platters as I could manage. I then put the lid back on, installed the drive in a PC again and booted from a floppy. When I logged to drive C:, there was a C:\> prompt! I was actually able to get several of the critical files copied to floppy disks before the grinding started up again and the drive died completely. When I popped its lid again, there were deep scores in the disk surface, and the heads had basically been abraded completely off the arms.


-----Original Message-----
From: Webmaster [mailto:webmaster@leonardpetroleum.com]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 6:08 PM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson
Subject: cdrom - drive letters - Plextor

i feel kind of dumb asking you this question...but hey, that's how one learns, right?

i bought a Plextor cd burner based mostly upon your recommendations - and it is working beautifully! I originally installed it in my system as the second cdrom drive (and it came up as drive E:)

then I realized that Nero Burning Rom software would write to two burners at once, so I had this "brain flash" - Why not install my old Yamaho cd burner in the same machine....as drive F: .....

I did this, the machine recognized the new drive just as it should, with one problem.....now the Plextor is drive D:, the plain-jane cd rom is drive F: , and the Yamaha is drive E:

no real problem for me....but my wife runs a program that always wants the original CD in drive D: (which was now the Plextor) aside from her having to learn that "change" I really didn't want the cd just sitting in there all the time......I really knew it would be easier on her to have the CD in the plain jane drive in the same location it always was......

So I figured that if I installed the drives one at a time that the machine would asign drive letters in order of installation....so I put in the plain jane....sure enough it is drive D:.....then I put in the Yamaha....sure enough it is drive E: .... then I put in the Plextor and....Whoops!!! the Plextor is once again D: the plain jane is E: and the Yamaha is F:.....

What did I do wrong????

the jumper settings are this:

plain jane is on ide2 set as master
Yamaha is on ide2 set as slave
Plextor is on ide1 set as slave

thanks in advance, if you choose to help.....

randy

What you're encountering is an artifact of how Windows assigns drive letters. When the system starts, Windows enumerates drives, starting with hard disk volumes, followed by removable volumes (e.g. MO), then floppies, then CD-ROM devices. All three of the drives you mention are considered CD-ROM devices by Windows. If Windows encounters multiple CD-ROM devices during enumeration, it assigns the lowest  then-available drive letter to the CD-ROM drive on the highest priority channel, then assigns a drive letter to the device on the next highest priority channel, and so on. Priority of ATA channels is Primary Master, then Primary Slave, then Secondary Master, then Secondary Slave. So in the final configuration you mention, the Plextor is assigned D: because it is the CD-ROM device located on the highest priority channel to which a CD-ROM drive is connected (Primary Slave). The Plain Jane is E: because it's on the second highest priority channel that has a CD-ROM drive attached to it (Secondary Master). And the Yamaha is assigned F: because it's on the lowest priority channel.

You should be able to make the drive letters come out the way you want by changing which drives are master and slave on each channel. But at the same time, you want to keep each CD writer on a channel different from the source. You could do this by making the Plain Jane Primary Slave (D:), the Plextor Secondary Master (E:), and the Yamaha Secondary Slave (F:). Or swap the Plextor and the Yamaha, which will also swap their drive letters. Then you can use either the hard disk or the Plain Jane CD-ROM drive as the source and either writer as the destination, and still have them on different channels. The problem, of course, is if you intend to write to both burners simultaneously (and why would you have both burners in one system otherwise?) you'll end up trying to write to two destination drives simultaneously that are on the same ATAPI channel. ATAPI only allows one device on the channel to communicate at a time, so you'll have to be very careful to avoid buffer underruns and coasters with this sort of arrangement. Of course, that's true no matter how you arrange a dual-burner system using ATAPI. You'll always have three devices in use--one source and two destinations--on only two ATAPI channels. I suppose you could install a third-party IDE interface card that supports being configured as the tertiary or quaternary IDE controller, but that's likely to require at least one additional interrupt, and possibly two, and you may not have any interrupts available.


-----Original Message-----
From: [address deleted by request]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 3:25 PM
To: anonymous@ttgnet.com
Subject: AIJ/Compujet

Please conceal my e-mail address.

I was going to purchase the AIJ cartridges until I read their "Limited Warranty". I noted that if a cartridge destroys my printer, they are not liable. After reading that you are trying them, I thought I'd ask you what you thought of them.

Bob Rosenstein

Hmm. That's not my recollection of the warranty. As I remember, AIJ says that if their cartridge destroys the printer, they'll replace the printer. They do note that many manufacturers explicitly disclaim warranty coverage for printers damaged by third-party or refilled ink cartridges, which is only reasonable. I haven't used the AIJ cartridges yet. They're around here somewhere, but I have no idea where, so I can't look it up.

 


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Wednesday, 8 November 2000

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I went to vote yesterday afternoon about 2:30. Not much traffic at the polling place, but then there never is at the time I go. I was number 856, which tells me that the turnout is reasonably large, but it didn't seem that way. I was completely undecided as I entered the polling booth (yeah, right), but I ended up voting straight-ticket Libertarian. I don't understand how anyone who values freedom could do otherwise. But then freedom is a pretty low priority for most folks, it seems. What a pity.

The morning paper declared Bush the winner, although most other sources are saying that it's too close to call because of the near-tie in Florida. Still, by all accounts, Bush is leading by some hundreds to thousands of votes in Florida, and because they use machines to count ballots there it's unlikely that a recount will swing Florida into Gore's column. Also, there are quite a few absentee ballots as yet uncounted. Absentee ballots typically run strongly Republican, so once they're counted Bush's lead should increase. If it turns out that the recount awards the win to Gore I'd be strongly suspicious of vote fraud anyway.

I won't be happy with Bush as president, but I'll be a lot happier than I would be if Gore were president. Bush is nothing special, but he may at worst be a Domitian and at best a Claudius. Gore more resembles a Caligula.

I really must get my Compaq Armada E500 notebook computer connected to my network. I use it primarily to work in the den, and there's no network jack there. My first thought was to run an Ethernet cable there, but then I got to thinking about wireless networking.  It'd be nice to be able to use the notebook completely untethered, except perhaps by a power cord. After doing some substantial research, I conclude that there's nothing available to solve my particular problem. Oh, there are wireless networking solutions galore, and many of them are quite likely extremely useful in a normal business environment, but none of them has all of my required features: 

(a) Reasonable speed. A unit with 10BaseT-like speed (10 Mb/s or so) would be ideal, but even one of the 1.6 Mb/s units (T1/DS1-like speed) would suffice.

(b) Low cost. There are any number of business-oriented 11 Mb/s 802.11b solutions available, like the Intel PRO/Wireless 2011 LAN Solution. But 802.11b products are priced at $500 to $1,000+ (for a base station and a PC Card adapter) and I don't want to pay anywhere near that much for use at home. The inexpensive solutions, like the Intel AnyPoint Wireless, have other drawbacks for my purposes (see the item below).

(c) Interoperability. I want a solution that bridges to my existing 100BaseT LAN. An 802.11b base station functions as a standard hub, so that's no problem. The inexpensive products, like the Intel AnyPoint Wireless, are intended as a simple point-to-point connection, and can't be bridged to the main network. Although I could install the base station on the main file server, which would allow me to access all the files I need, the lack of bridging means I wouldn't be able to get out on the Internet.

The only real answer for full-feature connectivity is an 802.11b base station and PC Card adapter. I'll get one of those in and try it, just because it's something I want to cover in the book. But for those who don't want to pay that much, there is one solution that's cheap, fast, easy, and does everything necessary. I could simply run a cable from the den to my office and connect the notebook directly to the main LAN. Wireless it ain't, but who cares? It does the job for $15 in parts and an hour's work, and I'd end up with full 100BaseT access to my network and my shared Internet connection. 

While I'm at it, I should probably run an Ethernet cable to my mother's room. And probably a phone cable, too. She's now using a cordless phone as her main phone simply because there was no phone jack in that room. So I've talked myself into it. It looks like I have some cable runs to make.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Farquhar [mailto:farquhar@lcms.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 12:32 PM
To: webmaster@leonardpetroleum.com
Cc: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: CD-ROM drive letter swapping

There's also a software solution to the CD drive letter assignments problem.

In NT, you can change CD-ROM/CD-R/CD-RW drive letter assignments with Disk Administrator. Just right-click the drive and select Assign Drive letter and pick the letter from the drop-down list.

In Windows 9x, go to Control Panel --> System --> Device Manager --> CD-ROM Drives. Click on the drive currently set to D: (the Plextor), then click Properties. Go to Settings, then go down to Reserved Drive letters. Set the start and end an out-of-the-way drive letter (probably G:), and reboot. Now do the same for your CD-ROM drive, moving it to D:. Reboot, then move the Plextor to F:.

Win9x makes it a little painful, but three reboots is better than juggling drive cabling.

Dave Farquhar
http://theSiliconUnderground.editthispage.com

Of course there is, and that's what I would normally use myself. Thanks for the sanity check. In my own defense, I plead a crushing stack of things to do and no time to do them. When I'm answering mail on the fly, I tend to focus. In this case, the primary question I focused on was "why is it doing this" rather than "how do I fix this". So I answered the one question when I should have answered the other. Or, preferably, both. That's what happens when I blast out responses to email. Sorry.


-----Original Message-----
From: RMRosenstein@cs.com [mailto:RMRosenstein@cs.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 1:57 PM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: Re: AIJ/Compujet Warranty.

Note, particularly, the capitalized statement at the end of the warranty statement. The way I read it, it says that their total liability does not exceed the cost of the cartridge.

Warranty: The enclosed products are warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship, when used by the original purchaser in accordance with any instructions or specifications applicable to the enclosed product, for a period of six months from the date of purchase. The purchaser's sole remedy under this limited warranty is that American Ink Jet Corporation will exchange a like product free of such defects for any product that is in its judgment contains such defects. AMERICAN INK JET CORPORATION AND ITS SUPPLIERS EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL OTHER WARRANTIES, INCLUDING THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGMENT. AMERICAN INK JET CORPORATION WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES. THE TOTAL LIABILITY OF AMERICAN INK JET CORPORATION SHALL NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY PAID FOR THIS PRODUCT.

Bob Rosenstein

Hmm. I'll have to dig my cartridges out and see what they say. Perhaps I was thinking of some other third-party ink cartridge maker. I won't hesitate to use the AIJ/CompuJet cartridges I bought, though. The likelihood that they will damage my Epson printer is small, and the cost differential between them and the Epson-branded cartridges is huge. Although I'm sure it has probably happened, I've never heard of a third-party ink cartridge damaging an ink jet printer. Leaking, certainly, but then OEM cartridges also sometimes leak. Perhaps my readers will have comments about this issue.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ross Fleming [mailto:rossflem@serv.net]
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 2:15 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: forums - Ultimate Bulliten Board

I have setup and used Ultimate Bulletin Board (UBB). It is a perl based bulletin board that I think works well and has many options that allow for a mix of moderated and unmoderated boards, some can require logons, registration, etc. You would appreciate the ability to delegate moderation/admin. of subsections to other people. DVD Talk's forum is one example. 

----------------------------------------
Ross Fleming rossflem@serv.net
Seattle, WA

Thanks. You're one of several people who recommended UBB. If I decide to run forums on my own server, I'll definitely check it out. My concerns at this point are (a) the time and effort involved in rolling my own, and (b) the resources and costs required to do that. Right now, this site generates something over 2,000 page reads per day and uses about 100 MB/day of throughput. That's with the majority of folks reading just this one page. Active forums could easily generate five or ten times that much traffic. That would take me into dedicated server territory at pair Networks, and that is not inexpensive. I'm increasingly inclined to bite the bullet and go with something like ezboard initially, with the possibility of later shifting over to a UBB service hosted by a web hosting company that offers an all-you-can-eat plan. But at least using something like ezboard would let me get something up and available quickly.


-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Sherburne Jr [mailto:ryszards@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 7:53 AM
To: 'webmaster@ttgnet.com'
Subject: seti

Seti may think they have a slower client, but it really runs faster on my machine and I am comfortable that it is not just fast units. My original thought of 4-6% was off, I now think, several days in that it is more like 12-15%. Times per unit are down around 20 hours, although there is a significantly greater variation in per unit time than with the old client. Is it possible they improved the code to run better on NT? Or that they are fiddling the unit assignments to allocate faster units to slower computers(admittedly a stupid thing to do)? I am sure I am not mistaken, I can watch the progress bar move now, w/ the 2.4 client it was obviously much slower. Maybe the code has been optimized/improved in a way that better uses processors w/ full speed cache? Any ideas?

Perhaps so. I haven't heard much about relative performance of the v2 versus the v3 client, but everything I have heard says that the v3 client is faster overall. Except, of course, SETI themselves, who say that it's slower. I haven't tried it myself, simply because I don't have time to mess with it right now. I know the v2 client is benign, and I suspect the v3 client is as well, but I'd want to do some testing before I deployed it on a bunch of my systems, and I just don't have time to do that testing right now.

 


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Thursday, 9 November 2000

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Well, I've eaten all my time this morning responding to email messages, about a third of which I've posted below. I really must do something about adding a messageboard. Chris Ward-Johnson confirms my fears about ezboard, saying that in his opinion of those he's looked at ezboard is the best thing available in the way of a service (rather than software), but that it still earns only a 2 out of 10, compared to UBB's potential 7 or 8 out of 10. 

One major problem is data held hostage. There's no way to migrate data from ezboard to another service or software package other than by cut-and-paste, which is clearly out of the question. Another is that the search function finds only posts made within the preceding 48 hours. As Chris points out, that's fine for script-kiddie boards, but not acceptable for a tech support board. Paul Robichaux also thinks highly of UBB, having chosen to implement it on his own site. I have a great deal of respect for both those guys, so it looks like I'll need to avoid the easy solution and do something with UBB. 

That means upgrading my account at pair or, alternatively, setting up a new account at Burlee or one of the other web hosts that offers an all-you-can eat account. The account upgrade or the new account will cost me maybe another $150 or $200/year and the software $200 or so, so the money isn't a major impediment. But the time and effort required to get all the ducks lined up, get the UBBS software installed and configured, etc. is a major impediment. So I think I'll think about this some more.


-----Original Message-----
From: Kerry Liles [mailto:Kerry.Liles@softwarespectrum.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 9:41 AM
To: 'webmaster@ttgnet.com'
Subject: Wireless Networking

Bob, I was just reading today's web notes about wireless access in your Den and I recalled reading about this product just the other day. A quick scan of Lucent's web site coughed up this:

This is not exactly what I was reading the other day, but should be in the ball park. Now I remember - it was a tidbit in O'Reilly's newsletter: here is the link that I was originally reading: [here]

Hope this is of some value...

Regards,

Kerry Liles

Thanks. I hadn't seen the O'Reilly article. That is useful information.


-----Original Message-----
From: jbruss@csus.edu [mailto:jbruss@csus.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 11:05 AM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject:

You wrote:

"I could simply run a cable from the den to my office and connect the notebook directly to the main LAN. Wireless it ain't, but who cares? It does the job for $15 in parts and an hour's work, and I'd end up with full 100BaseT access to my network and my shared Internet connection."

But be careful! All 10/100 PCMCIA cards (and built-in notebook adapters) are NOT created equal! I work in a notebook shop, so I know this business well. Megahertz, for instance, has long taken the stance that they don't need to post (for example) Win2k drivers on their site, as Win2k ships with those drivers built-in. Ergo, no drivers available for the BT-series of 10/100 ethernet cards. As you know, Win2k's built-in drivers are minimal, at best. In this case, they are nearly nonexistent - and remember, this is only an example; I'm not picking on Megahertz, necessarily. Anyhow, Win2k does autodetect this card, and will install the proper drivers. But you will be in for a surprise if you think you can truck along at 100 Mbps. It's not even an available option when you try to configure the card. There's more: you will be lucky if the card works at 1 Mbps. Why? I have no idea.

I recommend that you thoroughly test your Ethernet once it is installed. I don't know if your E500 has built-in 10/100 capability, but even if it does, you should run diagnostics. Once you find a notebook Ethernet PC card that works well, you'll want to hold on to it like it was made of gold! I still have the one I bought for my original notebook two years ago, and it works better than anything else I've ever seen (SOHOware, if you're interested).

Jeffrey T. Bruss
jbruss@csus.edu or
jtbruss@home.com
www.hardwareconnection.com/jeffland

Thanks. My Compaq Armada E500 has a built-in ports for modem and 10/100 Ethernet, but I will be sure to check. I confess that I was considering running Category 3 cable--of which I have about a mile in boxes in the basement--rather than Category 5, which I'm out of. On my own network, 100BaseT gives about twice the throughput of 10BaseT, so the difference isn't very noticeable in day-to-day work.


-----Original Message-----
From: Edwards, Bruce [mailto:Bruce.Edwards@lgeenergy.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 1:24 PM
To: 'webmaster@ttgnet.com'
Cc: 'bruce@bruceedwards.com'
Subject: Claudius or Caligula

Hi Robert: We definitely live in interesting times. While, as a matter of principal, I agree with you and your Libertarian choice, I must say that "the lesser of two evils" sometimes sways my thoughts. This occurs when there is no chance that the ideal will win. I realize I am setting myself up to be slammed here, but I would enjoy reading your thoughts on what follows.

You stated - "I won't be happy with Bush as president, but I'll be a lot happier than I would be if Gore were president. Bush is nothing special, but he may at worst be a Domitian and at best a Claudius. Gore more resembles a Caligula."

I'll agree with most of that statement except the my conclusion is that Bush will be a Claudius. One whose sometimes inept ways interfere with what he is trying to do and clouds over what he will do, but one who will generally strive for the right thing. I can agree with your call of Gore as Caligula.

Thus, for me the real choice was Caligula or Claudius. Given this, I voted for Claudius. I did not vote for a return to the Republic since I knew that would help the forces of Caligula. At least Claudius has some inkling of what the Republic was like and will not further remove the Empire from what ever is left of the Republic.

Who is Nader like? Diocletian and his big government and unworkable price controls?

I wonder if we will ever be presented a primary choice between two equally good or bad emperors. A choice that would encourage pragmatists to vote for the Republic (but would also have more forces voting for Diocletian)?

By the way, even though it is still in the skeletal stages, I have started a web site called eNumismatist.com that will feature coinage of all ages. Currently there are a few coins up from the Roman Empire (my favorite historical subject) including one from Domitian. There will be some nice specimens of Caligula, Claudius, Diocletian, Augustus, Tiberius, Julius Caesar, and most of the others in the fairly near future. I'd love for you to check it out (just remember it is currently very skeletal). Look in the "Gallery" section. The coin on the home page is a nice example of a Roman Imperial silver Tetrradrachm of Septimus Severus issued in the then Roman province of Syria.

I always enjoy your site. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Bruce Edwards
www.BruceEdwards.com/journal - for my daily journal
www.eNumismatist.com - for a virtual coin museum work in progress

Thanks. But voting is (or should be) about principles. As far as I'm concerned, people who voted for whom they perceived as the lesser of two evils thereby gave up their right to bitch about whatever happens. If someone with whom you are in substantial agreement is on the ballot, not voting for him because "he has no chance to win" is punting your responsibilities. Of course he has no chance to win as long as enough people act on that basis.


-----Original Message-----
From: RMRosenstein@cs.com [mailto:RMRosenstein@cs.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 2:33 PM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: Re: AIJ/Compujet Warranty.

Thank you very much for your reply. I feel a little more confident about using the AIJ cartridges. However, I would be interested in knowing if your readers have found a significant difference, with regard to leaking, between the AIJ and OEM cartridges

Thanks again,
Bob Rosenstein

I'll post it and see what people have to say. But I'd be surprised if there were much difference between the Epson-branded and AIJ cartridges in terms of leaking (or anything else, for that matter).


-----Original Message-----
From: David Cefai [mailto:davcefai@keyworld.net]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 3:15 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Wireless Networking

I could be missing something here but you say:

"Although I could install the base station on the main file server, which would allow me to access all the files I need, the lack of bridging means I wouldn't be able to get out on the Internet."

Could you not install the base station on just about any PC on your network and run Wingate 4 on that PC? Wingate can then be set up to route from the wireless adapter to the network card on that PC. You only need to run Wingate when you're using the laptop. A low power PC will probably do the trick. Wingate 4 runs OK on a 486DX2-80, connecting to a V90 modem (note: you cannot usefully do anything else useful on that PC)

Dunno. It would depend on whether the Intel AnyPoint Wireless base station appeared as a device that WinGate would be willing to use as an interface. I suspect it doesn't, but I don't know.


-----Original Message-----
From: David Cefai [mailto:davcefai@keyworld.net]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 3:28 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Ink

As a confirmed user of non standard inks and cartridges I think I can contribute to this discussion. I don't know what prices are like in the US but over here (Malta) the economics of running a BJC-4100 are as follows:

Cost of Canon Cartridges: Colour $20, black $10
Cost of d.boeder Cartridges: Colour $9, black $4.50
Cost of refilling colour + black: $2.50 (using Compujet Ink)

Based on my consumptions (actually more my wife's newsletters and my children's assignments and projects! ) I save $250 pa (the cost of the printer).

A new print head (incl cartridges) costs $75. My heads last 15 to 18 months when the average life is about 12 months ( info from Canon agent). As far as I'm concerned this is a win-win situation.

The economics seem to get better with HP printers where you have to buy a new head with the new cartridge. Refilling a cartridge is all gain. Inky fingers can be avoided by teaching the kids to refill carts. My youngest was doing it at the age of 10.

Finally, what damage can a third-party head cause? The manufacturers want to stay in business and won't be able to do so if their heads start to destroy printers.

Good points. Thanks.


-----Original Message-----
From: maceda [mailto:maceda@pobox.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 4:15 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Seti 3 has been taken down

Just to let you know that some unspecified problem was detected on Seti's client version 3 and so it has been pulled from the download area. Another problem I have detected is the countries totals have not been updated since Saturday 4th. Individual totals are still running OK. Have you checked your group totals in the last couple of days?

Francisco Garcia Maceda
maceda@pobox.com

Thanks! I haven't yet converted to the v3 client on the chance that something like this would happen. I've tried to check totals quite a few times over the last several days, but haven't been able to get through to the web site in all that time. This has happened a couple times in the past, so I just assumed it was busier than usual. Come to think of it, that's pretty strange. Usually when I have problems reading the stats page, the clients running on my various computers also have trouble getting a new block, and that hasn't been happening.


-----Original Message-----
From: Wayne West [mailto:goombah42@earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 6:30 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Your article on O'Reilly.com re: burning CD's

I had a horrible initial experience with burning CD's, looks like it was a bad high memory simm which is now out of my system.

At any rate, I do have a question. Someone once suggested, that when making music CD's, first burning it to a CD-R/W then duping it onto a CD-R.

I was wondering what your opinion on such a process would be?

I can see one advantage in that you can listen to the disc and decide if you like the mix before committing a CD-R, but with discs pretty cheap in quantity, the concept doesn't really stand up to examination.

Good article! I look forward to buying and reading your book.

Thanks for the kind words. I agree with you that it makes little sense to burn first to a CD-RW. With CD-R blanks selling for under a dollar, you're wasting a lot of time to save (potentially) a buck. It seems easy enough to decide before burning if you've chosen the tracks you want on the CD. Hope you enjoy the book.


-----Original Message-----
From: Wayne West [mailto:goombah42@earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 6:53 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Suggestion for John Vogt's hard drive prob

This doesn't help in removing the drive, but it could help John or Jaydonalds@aol.com.

Basically, leave the old HD/PC intact: set up the new system next to it and hook the old drive into your new system's secondary IDE controller. Use Ghost (or XCopy, whatever) to copy it across. I've done this a couple of times and it works quite well.

Yep, I've done that myself, although I usually remove the old drive first. Cable reach can obviously be a problem, and it'd be a good idea if possible to power the old drive from the new power supply.


-----Original Message-----
From: dave wootten [mailto:bonacker@swbell.net]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 8:27 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: (no subject)

Before you start changing drive letters in NT (as in the Dave Farquar letter), consider (as I foolishly didn't) that there are probably a slew of programs that are either in the registry (or in shortcuts) that have those hard drive letters assigned to those programs. Changing drive letters from disk administrator may really screw up your menus and desktop icons.

(imagine, those of you that are into Microsoft Office trivia, how many registry changes you will have to make to have Office find all the templates, bitmaps, directories, etc that it usually finds when you edit, translate, etc. a document! A pile, let me tell you!!)

Good point, and well worth remembering. But in this case, the reader was trying to change drive letters to get the drives back to where they were originally. I always assign drive letters to optical drives immediately after installing the OS and before installing any applications. By custom, I use R: for the first optical drive. My main system has a CD-ROM drive, a DVD-ROM drive, and a CD writer, so I have optical drives with letters R:, S: and T:.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jan Swijsen [mailto:qjsw@oce.nl]
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2000 7:56 AM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson
Subject: Electing an emperor.

> Bush is nothing special, but he may at worst be a Domitian and at best a Claudius.

Gore more resembles a Caligula. But then, strangely enough, the Roman empire was at its most successful period during the reign of the crazy and/or decadent emperors (Caligula, Nero, etc.).

> CD-ROM drive letter swapping .....and ...... In my own defense, ...

Another point in your defense is that the software solution does nothing about having two bruners on the same channel. So yes you can solve the drive letters by software but burning on two drives simultaniously isn't tackled that way.

BTW the source could hang on a SCSI card so hanging each burner on a separate IDE channel does not nessesary impact the source.

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

Well, disregarding for a moment that I don't regard a successful empire as a goal the US should be striving for, Caligula, Nero, Commodus, and the other nutters were not so much successful as living off the seed grain stored up by the more-or-less good ones like Augustus, Tiberius (a pretty good one who got rotten PR), Claudius, Vespasian, Marcus Aurelius, and so on.


-----Original Message-----
From: Edwards, Bruce [mailto:Bruce.Edwards@lgeenergy.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2000 9:30 AM
To: 'Robert Bruce Thompson'
Cc: 'bruce@bruceedwards.com'
Subject: RE: Claudius or Caligula

Hi Robert:

I agree with everything you said except giving up the right to bitch! I reserve that lack of rights to people who did not vote at all. :-)

By the way - eNumismatist.com is now back up, check the gallery sections. I would still be interested in your further comparisons of current political figures to ancient Romans (Clinton, Browne, Nader, Buchannan (spelling), etc.)

One more crazy idea: What do you think of a situation in which each state had one vote for president and that vote had to go the way of the popular vote in that state. Each state would have much more clout, state's rights and concerns would be enhanced, the candidates would have to listen to all regional concerns more carefully, etc. Of course, this could produce some lop sided victories when comparing the total popular vote to the state votes for president.

Sincerely,

Bruce www.BruceEdwards.com/journal - for my daily journal 
www.eNumismatist.com - for a virtual coin museum work in progress

Well, that's basically what the Electoral College accomplishes, although not on a one vote/state basis. I don't believe in amending the Constitution lightly, and doing what you suggest would require an amendment. And if a movement arose to amend the Constitution vis-a-vis the Electoral College, it'd be more like to be one that eliminated it rather than enhanced its power. So, if we're dreaming, how about going for one vote per state and requiring that the vote be unanimous for a president to be elected? Also, how about requiring an absolute majority based on registered voters rather than a simple majority of those casting ballots? And how about requiring on every ballot that there be a choice for "None of the Above"? And, if None-of-the-Above wins, None-of-the-Above serves.


-----Original Message-----
From: Edwards, Bruce [mailto:Bruce.Edwards@lgeenergy.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2000 10:13 AM
To: 'Robert Bruce Thompson'
Cc: 'bruce@bruceedwards.com'
Subject: RE: Claudius or Caligula and an unrelated APC UPS Computer Problem

Those are some very interesting suggestions that would certainly serve to hinder or even halt the "March to empire" course the U.S. is on. I could support them all except for possibly thinking about what would need to be done so the USA was not officially leaderless in the event that "none of the above" should win. I would hate to see that situation give power to some bureaucratic office which would, as time went by, tend to be the real power (not that the president is the real power now). Like you said, any amendment would almost certainly be in the other direction, leading to the tyranny of the majority (as conducted by self appointed elite).

Computer APC UPS Problem:

Here's an interesting problem for you. I am beginning to think that close proximity to an APC UPS can have undesirable affects on a computer. This is at least apparent for the less expensive UPS models. My wife's computer works fine on my work bench where it is several feet from a UPS. When I put it next to her desk and right next to her UPS Windows 98 will not boot except in safe mode. This has been repeated and gives consistent results. I don't recall any APC warnings and, in fact, my PC is right next to a mid-range APC UPS and suffers no ill affects.

Have you ever heard or experienced anything like that?

Sincerely,

www.BruceEdwards.com/journal - for my daily journal
www.eNumismatist.com - for a virtual coin museum work in progress

Oops. I forgot to mention the part about killing all the bureaucrats first. And the part about banning anyone who has attended law school, been admitted to the bar, or practiced law from holding any elected or appointed office or from working for the government as either an employee or a contractor. Talk about a conflict of interest. And the part about implementing term limits--one person, one term. In any office. If you're elected dogcatcher, you serve one term and then can never subsequently be elected or appointed to any office at any level of government. No term for any office shall exceed three years. Senators have a three-year term. The president a two-year term. And representatives a one-year term. All elected or appointed offices shall pay a maximum salary and expenses of $1 per year. Anyone who can't afford to serve one term without pay shouldn't be elected or appointed to hold any office.

As far as your UPS problem, it's very unlikely to be the APC. Inexpensive APC units, like those from all manufacturers, are off-line UPSs. Until the power fails, they're just sitting there acting as surge suppressors. The battery and inverter don't kick in until the power fails. So I don't see how a Back-UPS could be doing anything to interfere with your wife's computer. I suppose it's possible that it's broken and somehow putting garbage on the AC line, but I don't know how that could happen.

 


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Friday, 10 November 2000

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The results from the recount in all 67 Florida counties are in, and it's clear that Bush has won the election. Of course, that was clear long ago, but Gore's efforts to steal the election have succeeded, if nothing else, in clouding the issue. But the truth is simple. We had an election. Gore lost. Bush is now the President-elect. Gore has already conceded once. He should have left it at that. 

Yet another problem of long standing solved yesterday. The sink in the master bathroom has run slowly for years, but lately it's gotten ridiculous. We'd tried all the traditional methods--Drano, sink-snake, and so on--and nothing helped. So yesterday we got out a bucket and some large pliers (old ones, alas) and I started disassembling the trap. Once I got the trap off, the problem was obvious. Where it entered the wall, the drain pipe was completely blocked with a disgusting plug of material. 

I didn't want to risk shoving the plug further back into the wall, so I fashioned a hook from a wire coathanger and pulled out as much as I could. That process was made more difficult by the fact that the drain pipe going into the wall was a larger diameter than the trap, so the plumber had fitted a permanently attached reducer, which formed a shoulder facing away from me. That shoulder made it almost impossible to get all the foreign matter out, so I just did the best I could, ran the sink-snake back and forth a few times to make sure it passed freely, glopped a bunch of Vaseline petroleum jelly on the fitting that connects the trap to the main drain, reassembled the whole works and ran hot water through it for 15 minutes or half an hour. That also served to test the integrity of the trap for leaks.

I wish I'd had a large, flexible bristle brush to polish out the first foot or so of the main drain pipe, but I didn't and it's not worth worrying about. If the drain clogs up again in a few years, I'll just do the same thing again.

We taped Napoleon on PBS the other night, but we won't bother watching it until we've also taped next week's concluding episode. That gives us four hours of Napoleon to watch. We generally try to watch stuff in one sitting or, at most, on two successive evenings. So that gives us something to watch when we have nothing else to do. Not that there's not usually a lot of other stuff to do. Like read a book, for example, or write one.

The old saying is that a picture is worth 10,000 words, but I don't think that's true. A two hour movie filmed at 24 frames per second is actually a series of (24 frames/second * 60 seconds/minute * 120 minutes = 172,800) pictures. At 10,000 words per picture, that means that movie is supposedly worth 1,728,000,000 words. In reality, of course, there's less actual useful information in that two-hour movie than there was in the novel of, say, 150,000 words, that was its basis. Anyone who's ever read a book and then watched the movie made from it will admit that. Consider the Godfather movies, for example. Nearly everyone admits that they are among the best movies ever made. And yet, anyone who read the book will have noticed just how much was lost in translation between the book and the movie. The movie is, to be charitable, a cartoon caricature of the book.

So, a 150,000 word book translates to 172,800 pictures. Even ignoring the fact that the movie isn't worth as much as the book, that means that a picture is worth only about 0.868 words. But surely that underestimates the value of a picture. After all, if I'm reading a book on Cathedrals in Britain, Evans' platinotype picture of Wells Cathedral, A Sea of Steps, is certainly worth more than a fraction of a word. I conclude that, like everything else, the value of a picture is variable and depends on its rarity. Pearls, or four-leaf clovers, or good plumbers, or anything else are valuable because they're unusual. Pictures used to illustrate a text are valuable, perhaps even 10,000 words worth. But pictures when assembled into a movie are so common that they lose most of their value. So, in essence, filmmaking cheapens the value of images. But then, I knew that all along.

Jakob Nielsen's most recent Alertbox column confirms what I've been saying all along. Any web designer who uses Flash is out of his mind. Neilsen says that Flash is 99% bad, but I think that's overly generous. 99.99%, more like. Actually, for me and for many other web-literate users, it's 100.00%, because we don't have the plug-in installed and never will. When I come to a site that requires Flash, I simply abandon it and go elsewhere. The gist of Nielsen's column is correct, however. If you come upon a site that uses Flash, it's almost certain that the designers focus on sizzle rather than steak. You're well advised to abandon the site and spend your time elsewhere.


-----Original Message-----
From: Wayne West [mailto:goombah42@earthlink.net]
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2000 10:47 AM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson
Subject: I meant to mention....

I saw a message that indicated you were looking for a messaging board program. Have you looked at Slashdot.org? Their software is available [here], you need a box with Apache and Perl to run it. I have no idea how much maintenance their system requires. I'm also looking for a board system, but I probably need a straight Perl system as I have no direct access or control over the server my site is on.

Thanks. Like you, I don't have direct control of my server, and I think the Slashdot stuff is more than I want to get involved with.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Ghrist [mailto:ghristwd@pgh.net]
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2000 11:40 AM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Voting

You said: "And how about requiring on every ballot that there be a choice for "None of the Above"? And, if None-of-the-Above wins, None-of-the-Above serves."

How about this: The voter gets to vote for every candidate--either "yes", "no", or "don't care" (no vote for a particular candidate counts the same as "don't care"). Each candidate gets a cumulative (or average) score with "yes" = 1, "no" = -1, "don't care" = 0. The candidate with the highest _positive_ score wins. If no one gets a positive score, no one wins, and the election must be held over with completely different candidates.

Another thought: One way to encourage people to vote would be to base congressional redistricting not on total population, but on the number of people who voted in the last (or maybe the last few) general elections. If nothing else, this might induce the politicians to spend more time explaining why you should vote for them rather than why you should not vote for their opponents.

But I don't want to encourage people to vote. The higher the turnout, the more unqualified people end up voting. I think everything possible should be done to make it harder to vote. A literacy test would be a good start.


-----Original Message-----
From: David Cefai [mailto:davcefai@keyworld.net]
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2000 1:18 PM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson
Subject: Re: Wireless Networking

Had a quick look around. Anypoint is not compatible with Wingate 3. No info on Wingate 4.

However Intel bundle their ISS transparent proxy server package with Anypoint. It may be possible to use this to route from the Anypoint device to your network. At which point I have to leave it to your superior knowledge of networking.

You may be right. If I have time, I'll get an AnyPoint Wireless unit in here and give it a try.


-----Original Message-----
From: aldm1@earthlink.net [mailto:aldm1@earthlink.net]
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2000 5:42 PM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: LCD Monitors

Mr. Thompson:

I've purchased your PCHIAN and am finding it useful. However I was disappointed that you did not cover LCD desktop monitors in your chapter on monitors. I'm considering one for my next monitor purchase due to their smaller footprint, lower power requirement, and supposedly sharp image. I know they're expensive, but the price seems to be dropping from outrageous to within-the-realm-of- possibility. Your thoughts?

- Allen Moore, aldm1@earthlink.net

The short answer is that we didn't write about LCD displays because we don't have enough experience with them to have anything useful to say. At the time we wrote the monitors chapter, LCD displays were extraordinarily expensive. As you say, the price is starting to come down, and it's likely we'll cover them in the next edition. I think it'll be quite some time before LCD displays are competitive with glass tube monitors, but that day will eventually arrive.


-----Original Message-----
From: Huth Mark [mailto:mhuth@the-heartclinic.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2000 5:53 PM
To: 'thompson@ttgnet.com'
Subject: Useland Frontier

Bob,

take a look at uselands frontier. Seems to be a stunning tool which includes discussion tools. frontier.userland.com.

Take a look at: [here]

to see an example of what you want to do.

You could also contact Dave Winer at dave@userland.com

I'm not using it, but looks fantastic and sure has devoted and loyal users.

Thanks. I spent an hour or so yesterday checking it out. It's quite powerful and flexible, but using it would still effectively leave my data hostage. Although I could move my data from one free host to another, relocating it to my own server at pair would require buying Frontier, which is relatively expensive. What's worse is that I'd probably have to pay for a dedicated server at pair if I wanted to run it. I won't rule it out, but I'm more inclined to use something like UBB.


-----Original Message-----
From: J H RICKETSON [mailto:culam@micron.net]
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 12:58 AM
To: thompson@ttgnet.com
Subject: None of the Above

Bob -

You wrote:

"Well, that's basically what the Electoral College accomplishes, although not on a one vote/state basis. I don't believe in amending the Constitution lightly, and doing what you suggest would require an amendment. And if a movement arose to amend the Constitution vis-a-vis the Electoral College, it'd be more like to be one that eliminated it rather than enhanced its power. So, if we're dreaming, how about going for one vote per state and requiring that the vote be unanimous for a president to be elected? Also, how about requiring an absolute majority based on registered voters rather than a simple majority of those casting ballots? And how about requiring on every ballot that there be a choice for "None of the Above"? And, if None-of-the-Above wins, None-of-the-Above serves."

Bravo - again. Exactly my thoughts. The lack of a "None of the above" option is what makes my voting meaningless, IMO. And for those who would twit me that it is my "Patriotic Duty" to vote - I have paid my dues already - 7 years as a grunt in two wars. Each of us pays dues in his/her/its own way.

On the BBS consideration - Free advice, FWIW: IIRC, BBS hosts spend an inordinate amount of time on these things - like 24/7/366. You may be able to automate all the functions - but you must still moderate in order to keep the idjits off the BBS. That can't be automated, but perhaps may be delegated. I have seen too many very pleasant newsgroups deteriorate into flame wars, spam receptacles, etc. due to no moderation.

I don't know what your incentive is to require a BBS - but think long and carefully about the ROI. If it makes an old man of you before your time it is simply not worth it. You think you're busy now? Give some very realistic and pragmatic thought (you excel at this) to how much of your finite time and energy will be sopped up having ultimate responsibility for a BBS under your excellent imprimatur.

Tough decision. I wish you the best.

Thanks. If I do implement a message board, I may use "after-the-fact moderation". That is, allow members to post freely, but delete any inappropriate messages as soon as I notice them. And I'd definitely use volunteer moderators if the messageboard volume got to the point that it became burdensome for me to watch over. Only members could post to the messageboard, and I wouldn't expect many problems from members drawn from the readership of this site.


-----Original Message-----
From: John M. Goodman [mailto:john@aGoodMan.com]
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 2:11 AM
To: Robert Bruce Thompson
Subject: A question, and some comments re PC Hardware in a Nutshell"
Importance: High

I just got your book, "PC Hardware in a Nutshell" a couple of days ago. And I have been enjoying reading it ever since (whenever I could fit in a few minutes to do so).

It is grand to read such a well-written and well-thought-out book, especially when the opinions expressed there are "right." (Which is to say, they agree with mine!<grin>) And happily, that has been the case in all but one case so far. [I very strongly *disagree* with your advice (on page 41) about keeping the PC plugged in while working on it...and I'll be happy to explain why I take the alternate point of view and hold it so strongly. And to hear your rebuttal, if any.]

But first, I must ask you a mostly *unrelated* question. This is one that I need some answers to as soon as possible, as I am trying to craft a report for a consulting client who needs it in the next 48 hours, or so. Here is the question:

===== 
In the time frame 1995 through 1998, what were the most common failure modes for servers, high-end PCs, and for the hard disk subsystems within those machines? 
=====

Any comments you could make, based on your experience or on your understanding of the experiences of others, would be most helpful to me, as they will let me compose my answer based on a wider range of experiences than those I have personally had.

Thanks in advance.

Thanks for the kind words. As far as keeping a PC plugged in while working on it, all I can say is that I and every experienced PC technician I know does so whenever possible. The advent of ATX motherboards that maintain some power to the motherboard even when the PC is turned off complicated that. As we said in the book, one shouldn't work on an ATX motherboard while power is still applied to it. However, a couple of good options remain. First, we mentioned using a switched surge protector. By connecting the PC to a surge protector and switching that surge protector off, one removes power from the PC, but leaves the ground line connected to the building ground. Second, some ATX power supplies have a main physical switch on the power supply itself. Turning that switch off while working on the PC accomplishes the same thing.

As far as failure modes, my own experience is probably pretty much what you'd expect. Once they pass the initial burn-in period, electronic components seldom fail. Mechanical components frequently fail, and those are the typical failure modes we've seen in systems over the years--drives, power supplies, and cooling fans. All you need consider to verify that is which components are redundant in a high-end server. You typically have RAID and hot-swappable drives to account for drive failures and redundant, hot-swappable power supplies to account for power supply failures. The other obvious concern is power. Servers generally have a UPS and perhaps a backup generator to accommodate failure of the mains power. The other power-related issue, of course, is hardware damage resulting from lightning strikes and so on. We've seen the occasional network adapter or whatever fail, and in nearly every such situation the failure manifested the morning after a severe storm.


-----Original Message-----
From: Edwards, Bruce [mailto:Bruce.Edwards@lgeenergy.com]
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 8:48 AM
To: 'Robert Bruce Thompson'
Cc: 'bruce@bruceedwards.com'
Subject: RE: APC UPS Computer Problem and a couple other subjects

Good morning Robert:

Still on the same circuit, I took an extension cord and plugged it into the APC UPS and then plugged the computer (two different ones that were exhibiting the same problems when in proximity to the UPS) into the extension cord. They then booted and ran fine! Amazing, it looks like I actually have a verifiable, repeatable problem only when the computers are right next to the UPS!

This article in capitalism magazine is interesting: "Vote for George Bush as the Good, and Not the Lesser Evil" 

You may find my comment on voter qualifications interesting: Perhaps there truly should be some type of basic test on the ballots as a qualification for the ballot being accepted. I know this is incredibly controversial, but what would actually be wrong for the following multiple choice questions to be on all ballots and answered correctly before the ballot is accepted:

1. Who was the first president of the United States? 
2. On what date was the independence of the United States declared? 
3. Do you have the right to vote in U.S. elections if you are not a citizen of the U.S.A.? 
4. Do you have to register to be allowed to vote? 
5. What is the sum of 24 plus 37? 
6. If you buy some food at a restaurant and the total is $3.39, how much change are you due from a $10.00 bill?

Stuff like that. It will never happen, but certainly people who are allowed to vote should have some minimal level of competence as adults.

Sincerely,

Bruce

www.BruceEdwards.com/journal

Hmm. That it interesting. Perhaps you should contact APC tech support and find out what they have to say. 

As far as your test, I suspect that not one person in 100,000 could answer all questions correctly. Hint: the answer to the first question is not "George Washington" and the answer to the second question is not "July 4, 1776". I'll leave the correct answers as an exercise for the readers.

 


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Saturday, 11 November 2000

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I started to watch one of those 1950's marauding radiologically-mutated giant vegetable movies last night. As you know, a person who eats a lot of vegetables is called a vegetarian. Well, this vegetable was--you guessed it--a humanitarian. As it turned out, I'd already seen the movie, so I switched it off after five minutes, but there was an important moral there. Beware of humanitarians.

I've been playing around with webwasher to eliminate those obnoxious elements that are on so many web pages nowadays--banner ads, web bugs, popups, and so on. So far, webwasher seems to work and work well. If there's a performance hit, I can't see it. The software functions as a client-side proxy, so I was a bit concerned that I'd have problems running it on my main system, which already points to a proxy server. But I had no problems getting it configured to work properly with the WinGate proxy. I simply reconfigured Internet Explorer to point to the webwasher proxy (as localhost) and then configured webwasher to point to the WinGate proxy. 

Once it is installed, webwasher puts an icon in your tray. If for some reason you need to disable it, you can do so with a single click. So far, I haven't encountered any pages that render poorly because webwasher has stripped out advertising banners and so on. It seems to be pretty intelligent about inserting an empty graphic when necessary. Otherwise, the stuff is simply gone. According to the license, webwasher is free if you "use the software exclusively at home for non-commercial or job-related purposes."

Bob Walder agrees with my recommendation to leave PCs plugged in while working on them. Bob's generally a good guy, but he does sometimes have a very strange way of looking at the world.


-----Original Message-----
From: Phil Hough [mailto:phil4@compsoc.man.ac.uk]
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 12:01 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Movies

"But pictures when assembled into a movie are so common that they lose most of their value."

True. I think the problem here is twofold:

1) The time the picture is shown for.
2) The similarity between sequential pictures.

If a picture were shown for a few minutes/hours rather than a fraction of a second, one would have the chance to pick-up on the detail, the surroundings, the feel, the emotion. Much like one does when viewing a picture in a piece of art. For sure some of the stills from today's moviews aren't works of art, but it's certain that there is detail and emotion that could be seen and felt if the picture remained still.

For the second, there is of course little that a slight variation of the previous gives, so of the 24 frames shown in a second, you'd only want to look at one of those for any period of time.

The movement given by the rapid changing of images itself allows expression of things which are hard or impossible to express in a still picture.

"a picture is worth 10,000 words" May be true, in a given context. Works of art, richly detailed pictures, diagrams explaining something.

Personally I find that movies concentrate any emotion gained from reading a story, in a way that being there (as a film trys to show) can do. However I agree, films often miss subtle points in order to put across the emotion.

Hmmmm.

ATB.

Phil
_______________________________________________
Phil Hough                                          Three things are certain:
E-mail: phil4@compsoc.man.ac.uk Death, taxes and lost data.
Phone: 07720 291723                      Guess which has occurred.
WWW: http://www.compsoc.man.ac.uk/~phil4
_______________________________________________

I'm sure you're right. As far as the relative value of books versus movies, it seems to me that with a movie you can at best observe from a distance, whereas with a book you are a participant. That is, with a book you are privy to the thoughts of the characters rather than simply their actions. A movie allows you to see only what happens. A book allows you to see why.


-----Original Message-----
From: boatright [mailto:rick@vocshop.com]
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 12:17 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Voter questions

Well, I suppose you're looking for "John Hanson" and "July 2, 1776.

Altho, since the articles of confederation where submitted as early as June 11....

But no, I suspect we have to go with the vote record.

So, independence was declared July 2, the text of the declaration was published July 4.

Hanson was then the first president under the articles of confederation which where approved in March of 1781. Previous to that we had presidents or chairmen of the Congress, but not the nation.

However, to the quesiton "Who was the first president of "The United States of America" the answer George Washington is not unfair, since the nation under the articles of confederation. was a very different nation than the nation under the constitution.

However, the first seven shouldn't be forgotten.

John Hanson, Elias Boudinot (1783), Thomas Mifflin (1784), Richard Henry Lee (1785), Nathan Gorman (1786), Arthur St. Clair (1787), and Cyrus Griffin (1788)

Then the ratification of the consititution in 1789 and the election of Washington.

That the answer you wanted?

Yep. The United States came into existence when the Articles of Confederation was adopted. At that point, the nation existed and was named the United States. It also had a president, elected by members of Congress. That the subsequent adoption of the Constitution changed the method for electing a president does not alter the fact that Hanson was the first president of the US. I must disagree with your statement that the US under the Articles of Confederation was a very different nation than the nation under the Constitution. It was and is the same nation. Our leaders simply chose to adopt a new documentary framework. As far as the declaration of independence, the first declaration made by the Continental Congress occurred on July 2, 1776. It was a written document, and was ratified by representatives of 12 of the 13 colonies. I have always maintained that the common references to the "13 colonies" are in error. They should refer to the "12 colonies". New York joined the rebellion only later.


-----Original Message-----
From: Huth Mark [mailto:mhuth@the-heartclinic.com]
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 1:35 PM
To: 'thompson@ttgnet.com'
Subject: presidents and such

'The first president of the United States was George Washington, but I believe the first president elected by the Continental Congress was Peyton Randolph. I read a book some years ago which mentioned him. There were a number of others who were elected by the Congress, but I'd argue that Washington was the first president of the United States.

As to when independence was declared (this I had to look up): Again the correct answer is July 4th, 1776. If your correspondent is suggesting the Lee resolution presented on June 7, 1776 and passed on July 1st, that wasn't a declaration. If the suggestion is that the document wasn't signed by all delegates until early August, it was passed in July 4th. Refer to:

http://www.nara.gov/exhall/charters/declaration/dechist.html

Sorry, but that's wrong on both counts. The Continental Congress, meeting publicly on July 2, 1776, adopted a written declaration of independence which was, as you say, drafted by Richard Henry Lee. See [here]. I don't see how it can be argued that it was a "declaration". The text formed the basis for Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, and read:

Resolved

That these united colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the british crown and that all political connection between them and the state of great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved.

As far as the first president of the US, there is absolutely no question that it was John Hanson. George Washington was the first president to be elected after the new Constitution was adopted, but the US existed as a country under the Articles of Confederation and had several presidents elected by Congress before that time. In fact, George Washington was a representative, and participated in electing those early presidents. He certainly never considered himself to be the first president of the US. See [here] for some details about Hanson.


-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Donders [mailto:alan_donders@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 3:18 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Free Site Hosting

Bob,

A question for you (or perhaps your readers) - I'm looking for recommendations on a free web hosting service (ie, Geocities, Tripod, etc.) to set up an informational-type web site for a local library group. I would like to be able to code locally in HTML and then upload pages to the site. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

No idea, but I'll post your request. Perhaps some of my readers will know and can mail you directly.


-----Original Message-----
From: Belleville, Brian [mailto:BBelleville@zebra.com]
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 5:14 PM
To: 'webmaster@ttgnet.com'
Subject: Literacy Tests

My only extension to Bruce Edward's test might be to extend it to our elected representatives.

Just watched a video feed in which a recently elected Senator from NY suggested one of her first agendas in Congress would be to pass a law abolishing the Electoral College.

Well, the chances of that happening are slim and none. Only the very largest states would benefit from eliminating the Electoral College. A Constitutional Amendment would have to pass by a two-thirds vote in the Senate, and would be hard pressed to get one-third. Then it'd have to be passed by three-quarters of the state legislatures, and it'd have a hard time passing a third of them. Why would senators from smaller states and then the legislatures in those smaller states vote in favor of a measure that would reduce their own influence?


-----Original Message-----
From: Huth Mark [mailto:mhuth@the-heartclinic.com]
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 6:00 PM
To: 'Robert Bruce Thompson'
Subject: RE: presidents and such

Robert,

This time I went and looked it up...

According to George Grant:

http://capo.org/kmsc/presidnt.html

Randolph served in 1774 and again in 1775
Henry Middleton in 1774 (Randolph was ill)
John Hancock in 1775
Henry Laurens in 1777
John Jay in 1778
Sam Huntington in 1779
Thomas McKean in 1781
Then John Hanson in 1781 (first with a full term)
Elias Boudinot
Thomas Mifflin
Richard Henry Lee
Nataniel Gorham
Arthur St. Clair
Cyrus Griffin
and finally George Washington.

As to why I believe Washington to be the first president....none of these fellas were president under our constitution. They did serve as heads of the Continential congress! I'd suggest that it isn't the same thing. You may disagree, but

As to the declaration of independence, I'd disagree. I cited the same reference you did. The Lee resolution was presented on the first, voted for on the 2nd, but not finished as the declaration until the forth. Signing it dragged on for some months. (grin...fun stuff).

Yes, but all of those you mention previous to Hanson were elected president of the Continental Congress (under that title). When the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the United States was formed. Those elected prior to the Articles of Confederation could not have been president of the United States, because the United States did not yet exist. Hanson was the therefore first president of the United States (both in fact and under that title), and that was the question. As far as the Lee resolution, it was not just "voted for", it was formally adopted in Congress on the 2nd. Years ago, I remember reading a letter or speech written by George Washington in which he referred to those who had preceded him as president of the United States, so it's pretty clear that he did not regard himself as the first president.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Pierce [mailto:dpierce@omnisky.com]
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 7:58 PM
To: webmaster@ttgnet.com
Subject: Voting

Robert,

You said:

But I don't want to encourage people to vote. The higher the turnout, the more unqualified people end up voting. I think everything possible should be done to make it harder to vote. A literacy test would be a good start.

It seems West Palm Beach has given us a chance to draw a line in the sand. How's this for a voting requirement:

In order to vote, you must be capable of .... voting!

Nah, according to the Democrats, that'd place unfair restrictions on the right of people to exercise their franchise.

 


wpoison

 

 

 

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Sunday, 12 November 2000

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Barbara needs a new system. It's been a while. She's still using theodore, which is only a Pentium III/450 and is both her workstation and the main file/print server for our network. I planned it that way, because there are two machines that I should avoid messing with as much as possible: (1) Barbara's workstation, and (2) the main network server. Making those two machines one and the same tends to encourage me to think again any time I think about touching it.

So we've decided to build Barbara a new system. Actually, when I showed her this picture, she said, "Wait a minute! That doesn't look like a new case." And it's not. It's the machine currently/formerly known as hathor, a Pentium II/300 Windows 2000 test-bed box that lived under my desk. But it is built around a PC Power & Cooling case and a Turbo-Cool 300 or 350 power supply, so I asked Barbara which she'd rather have. A slightly-used PC Cool case and power supply, or a shiny new one made by someone else. She opted for the used PC Cool. So hathor is now disconnected and sitting on the kitchen table, awaiting a thorough cleaning and rebuilding. In its re-incarnated form, I think we'll name it sherlock.

hathor.jpg (29808 bytes)

Before anyone asks, that's a .357 Magnum revolver beside the case. I forgot to include that item in the Advanced Toolkit described in PC Hardware in a Nutshell, but it does come in handy when I need to do a secure wipe of an old hard drive. Only kidding. Actually, the revolver is there because Malcolm climbed up on my end table and knocked my drink over, flooding the revolver. That revolver happens to be the one that sits on the floor next to my place on the sofa. I keep it in a case to protect it from dust, but the case is unzipped for easy access. One never knows when Men in Black will kick down the door. At any rate, the revolver got drenched, so I took in the kitchen and washed it thoroughly (not in the the dishwasher, although that wouldn't have been a bad idea). It was sitting there to dry, which it finished doing days ago, but stuff around here tends to stay where it's left for quite some time.

So the PC Cool case and power supply are going to form the basis of Barbara's new system. We haven't figured out what else we're going to put into it yet, but we're thinking probably the Intel D815BN motherboard, a Celeron or Pentium III in the 700 to 933 MHz range, 128 MB or 256 MB of Crucial or Kingston PC133 SDRAM, an Adaptec 2930U2 SCSI host adapter, an 18 GB Seagate Barracuda SCSI hard drive, and a Tecmar NS20 tape drive. We haven't decided what to do about optical yet. Barbara says she doesn't need a CD writer, so I may just leave the Toshiba ATAPI CD-ROM drive in the machine.

There's mail, but I'm out of time. Off to do laundry and other chores. Back tomorrow.


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