Day: January 13, 2012

Friday, 13 January 2012

08:06 – Friday the 13th falls on a Friday this month…

FexEx showed up yesterday with a couple thousand polyethylene dropper bottles, 100 dozen 15 mL, 50 dozen 30 mL, and 20 dozen 125 mL. With what I already have on hand, that’s sufficient for the first batch of 56 biology kits. We’re still debating how many biology kits to stock pending publication of the biology lab book. We want to strike a balance among timely delivery, working capital allocated to inventory, storage space for finished-goods inventory, and freshness of the kits. I have second sources (and usually third and fourth sources) for all of the components, so back-ordered components shouldn’t be a problem. Working all-hands-on-deck, we can probably build and ship 100 kits a week, so if there’s a real flood of initial orders we should be able to keep up with only short shipment delays. I hope.

Work continues on the final lab session. I’d planned to finish it today, but it looks like that’s not going to happen. I should be able to finish it over the weekend.

One of the first things on my to-do list after I get this book complete is to upgrade my main office system. I am running, believe it or not, Ubuntu 9.04. It’s just short of three years old, and even security updates were discontinued long ago.

The problem was again made evident yesterday. My Epson V300 scanner arrived on Wednesday, so yesterday when I decided to take a break I figured I’d set it up and see if it worked. It didn’t, of course. It required newer versions of some system utilities, and those simply aren’t available for Ubuntu 9.04.

So, come 1 February, I’m going to back up all my stuff, pull the current system drive, pop in a new 3 TB Barracuda, and install a current Linux. The question is, which one. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to install the current Ubuntu, which by all accounts has completely gone off the rails. I’m thinking about installing the current Kubuntu, but I’m certainly willing to consider alternatives. What I want is a good desktop Linux, ideally one that’ll recognize my scanner and other stuff automagically and Just Work. Same deal on stuff like networking my system to Barbara’s and the den system. So, which is the best desktop Linux out there?

14:19 – Oh, boy. S&P is getting ready to downgrade the sovereign debt ratings of France and Austria. For Austria, no longer being AAA will be annoying but not critical, at least for the moment. For France, losing its AAA rating is catastrophic. France now officially joins the rest of Club Med. And the FANG nations are now the FNG nations.

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