Monday, 15 February 2016

10:58 – We got maybe 3″ of snow and sleet overnight, with more expected today and tonight, perhaps with some freezing rain mixed in. We don’t need to go anywhere, so we’re just staying indoors other than to give Colin a little outside time.

We were down to only a couple of biology kits left in stock, so we made up another dozen or so yesterday. For this time of year we’re in good shape now on finished-goods inventory. We’re shipping less than one kit per day on average, which’ll be the norm through the end of next month.

I finally got my new Lenovo Core i7 micro-tower system unboxed. It’s sitting on my office desk downstairs downloading and installing Windows 10 updates as I write this upstairs on my notebook. Once it finishes updating, I’ll pull two or three backup copies of the fresh installation to DVDs, download and burn the current Linux Mint, replace the hard drive with a new one, install Linux Mint, restore all my data, and get things configured the way I want them. That’ll probably take all day today, on and off, and maybe some time tomorrow as well.

The video card has dual outputs, so I’ll probably connect a second display to the system. Linux Mint handles dual displays well, and I just happen to have a spare 25″ display that’s not being used. I’ve never worked with dual displays before, so it’ll be interesting to see how the extra screen real estate changes how I work.

I started writing my PA novel last night, but only in my head. I’m using the real names of the people I’m basing characters upon because otherwise I’d have a hard time keeping things straight. I’ll just go back and do a search and replace when I finish the first draft, followed by a very careful read-through to catch the inevitable S&R errors. I actually have no idea whether or not I can write a decent novel, so I’ll post the first couple of chapters to let you guys tell me how I’m doing. If it turns out that I’m a mediocre novelist (or worse), I’ll just bag it. It’s not like I don’t have lots of other stuff to fill my time.

21 thoughts on “Monday, 15 February 2016”

  1. I have two twenty inch displays on my Linux Mint desktop and LOVE the extra real estate. Mint handles the extra screen very well and I really enjoy having one screen for work and one for my browsing & fun.

  2. I bought Samsung smartphones for the wife and daughter yesterday to replace their ancient flip phones. This may have been a mistake.

  3. “The Internet of Things Will Be the World’s Biggest Robot”

    “The Internet of Things is the name given to the computerization of everything in our lives. Already you can buy Internet-enabled thermostats, light bulbs, refrigerators, and cars. Soon everything will be on the Internet: the things we own, the things we interact with in public, autonomous things that interact with each other.”

    I find that these new talking devices are creepy.

  4. “Why can’t I have an RPG ? It is the new equalizer.”


    “This may have been a mistake.”

    It was.

    “I see this well over ten years away though.”

    I make it one to five years. They’re getting desperate and they’ve seen it done in other countries now. You beat me to it posting that link. Another of my correspondents in Delaware opines that inflation will start smoking pretty good and welfare checks will become issued at 1/4 to 1/3 of their former value; couple that with rising food prices. Then have some kind of “failure” again with EBT cards and watch the mayhem break out.

    “I find that these new talking devices are creepy.”


    But I found wife’s Siri on her iPhone useful for driving directions when we were in NJ; I’ve never used it on mine, though.

  5. Why not (a) make the new hard drive an SSD, (b) add it as a 2nd drive, and (c) install Linux on the new drive as a dual-boot? I admit I know zero about dual-boot for W-10 and Linux, but it wasn’t long ago you thought you would need to run Windows. If that happens again you would be ready*.

    *(Well, almost. There would be another bunch of updates waiting…)

  6. “There would be another bunch of updates waiting…”

    And spyware.

    I’ve had dual- and triple-boot machines before but I prefer dedicating separate boxes for each o.s. nowadays; another preferable alternative is to run Windows 10 as a vm hosted in Mint. Fire it up when you need it for something and close it when you’re done. But RBT may be all set with Mint and only need a Windows drive but rarely; O happy world!

  7. _Home: A Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian Adventure (The Traveler)_ (Volume 1) by Tom Abrahams

    Book number one of a two book series. I do not know if there will be more books in the series. I have yet to order the second book as it is Kindle only at the moment.

    The book is set five years after the scourge of 2025, a plague in which 2/3rds of the world population died. The story’s location is in west Texas, a major plus for me. There are frequent look backs to 2025 and 2015 to explain why things are the way they are now. The book is a little over detailed about weapons and such but not horribly so.

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (144 reviews)

  8. Just saw Jerry’s latest article on robots and machines taking over most current human jobs over the next five to ten years. What will humans do without work? Etc.

    I know the answer to that, not having had any now for almost a year-and-a-half, despite being able and willing to work my ass off another ten, fifteen or twenty years. Plenty to do with an old house and the yard; volunteer activities; learning tons of new stuff; reading tons of books; etc., etc.

    And the whole thing with robots and/or innernet, once again, boyz and grrls, is that it all runs on electricity, which itself runs on fossil, hydro, or nuclear fuel. Controlled by a corporate fascist oligarchy. Which screws up as often as it is repressive.

  9. @OFD ~ As usual, you see and understand more than most.

    Check out these links …

    A World Without Work

    For centuries, experts have predicted that machines would make workers obsolete. That moment may finally be arriving. Could that be a good thing?



    The Decline of the Global Labor Force
    and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era


  10. RBT has discussed this whole thing a few times here, too. Sure, maybe a bunch of us out here who like to tinker with stuff and learn new things will find a way to make a living at it, assuming we live like normal human beings in a community and not like unto a One-Percenter on an estate or fortified compound or the teeming masses of clueless derps out there.

    But what will all those tens of millions be doing??? How will we get to a Maker Space economy that makes sense with as little pain as possible? In a country that is grievously in debt for generations to the tune of many tens of trillions? With a crumbling infrastructure, swarms of invaders from south and east, and a criminal junta running the government?

  11. @OFD ~ As usual, you see … more than most.

    It’s because he’s tall. I can put together a logical proof* that height is strongly correlated with intelligence, perceptiveness, unbiased clarity of thought, and overall worth as a human being.

    In fact, I should make sure to tell my wife about this correlation. She’s about 15″ shorter than I, so I think it’s important she be informed of the facts. Of course, considering her height, or rather her lack thereof, I’ll have to dumb it down a bit. “Tall goooooood. Short baaaaaaaaad.”

    * So long as you don’t get all “logical fallacy” on me.

  12. @OFD ~ Here’s one possible answer to your question …

    TEDxSoCal – Josh Tickell – Redesigning Society – From Scratch

    Uploaded on Aug 16, 2011

    Growing up amongst the oil refineries in Louisiana, Josh Tickell experienced the impacts of dirty oil processing at a young age. After watching members of his family suffer from pollution related cancers, Tickell began a lifelong quest to find sustainable, clean energy sources.

    In 1997, Tickell set out on the road with a biodiesel powered “Veggie Van” and a video camera to begin filming what would eventually become known as FUEL, the 2008 Sundance Audience Award winning documentary film that investigates the possible replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy. Over the course of his 11 year journey, Tickell traveled the world going to over 25 countries, authored two books, founded a nonprofit organization, and jumpstarted America’s biodiesel movement.

    Tickell’s Veggie Van Organization was selected by President Bill Clinton as an inaugural part of his Global Initiative on Climate Change. The organization serves to educate people about sustainable energy and provide pathways for integrating sustainable energy into homes, communities, cities, states and ultimately nations.

    He holds an undergraduate degree in Sustainable Living from the New College of South Florida and an MFA in Film from FSU’s School of Motion Picture Television and Recording Arts.

    The way I see it, we are basically limited only by our stuck-in-a-rut imaginations and our stubborn obstinate unchanging attitudes. We MUST learn to think outside the box, or forever be trapped inside it.

  13. “I can put together a logical proof* that height is strongly correlated with intelligence, perceptiveness, unbiased clarity of thought, and overall worth as a human being.”

    G. Washington about 6’3″. and T. Jefferson likewise.

    So there’s those guys.

    Then there’s evil tall guys: A. Lincoln, W.J. Clinton. Both pretty smart, pretty clever, but evil SOB’s just the same; the former a genocidal war criminal and the latter a serial rapist and adulterer and also war criminal.

    Short guys: Napoleon, Hitler, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot….

    “We MUST learn to think outside the box, or forever be trapped inside it.”


    Soon we will have no choice but to think outside the box, as the box won’t be there anymore. We’ll be entering new historical territory on several levels in the West in general and this country in particular. It’s gonna be a wild ride.

  14. But what will all those tens of millions be doing??? How will we get to a Maker Space economy that makes sense with as little pain as possible?

    The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge: “The Evolution of Everything is about bottom-up order and its enemy, the top-down twitch—the endless fascination human beings have for design rather than evolution, for direction rather than emergence. Drawing on anecdotes from science, economics, history, politics and philosophy, Matt Ridley’s wide-ranging, highly opinionated opus demolishes conventional assumptions that major scientific and social imperatives are dictated by those on high, whether in government, business, academia, or morality. On the contrary, our most important achievements develop from the bottom up. Patterns emerge, trends evolve. Just as skeins of geese form Vs in the sky without meaning to, and termites build mud cathedrals without architects, so brains take shape without brain-makers, learning can happen without teaching and morality changes without a plan.”

    Also uplifting is Ridley’s The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

    Reading either (or both!) of these will be good for what ails ya, OFD! 🙂

  15. Those books look interesting, Mr. medium wave; I’ll put them on my list accordingly. Just finished the long depressing book on Leningrad; so maybe something positive now.

    On distantly related note: anyone here ever messed around with coatings on firearms, like Duracoat or Cerakote, ferinstance?

    And similarly, distantly related; anyone ever hook up a generator to a well pump?

  16. OFD wrote:

    “What will humans do without work?”

    The Devil makes work for idle hands to do.

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