June 28, 2006

I take back the positive review of Vista.

Come to find out that installing Vista messes your partition table up like a mofo. So, it’s the wipe/partition/XP/Kubuntu game for me for a while…

Vista and Flock

June 28, 2006

Today was a bad day for me technologically. What went wrong:

  • Wireless router went wacko, causing me to disconnect every 5 minutes
  • Installed RMA’d DVD writer, which apparently caused my XP install to need to be activated again
  • Wouldn’t you know it, I can’t activate with my 100% legit key anymore, because I have used it to reinstall more than 5 times
  • None of the cracks worked
  • Haha, it’s all a funny joke right? My RMA’d DVD writed doesn’t work. Or does it?
  • First install of Vista failed miserably

What went right:

  • Second install of Vista went well
  • Got my DVD writer working. The DVD I was testing was just poorly burned (should still be able to read it though…)
  • Router calmed down without me touching it

So, how is Vista? Meh. That’s the only term I can come up with right now. I love the visual themes, and there are some neat gadgets (widgets to Mac users, and Mac didn’t come up with them, so don’t start that crap). However, the install was about 45 minutes, which is ridiculous to me. I can get XP up in 30, and Kubuntu up in 20.

I do like the fact that the install process is a lot more hands off. Of course, this is only the beta. And there is more security built in to the OS by default. There are confirmations for almost everything (which can get annoying at times) and bundled with Vista is Defender and Windows Firewall.

What I don’t really like is the fact that about half of my devices were not supported by default. Once I got stuff set up, everything worked, so I’ll chalk this up to betaness.

Navigation has been redesigned. The start menu is a bit different, and it works to some extent. Personally, it will take me some time to get used to it.

One thing that really suprised me is the fact that the test DVD that didnt work earlier works perfectly with Vista. It definitely has better DVD drive support.

As an operating system, I’d give Vista a 7/10 (compared to Kubuntu’s 9/10 and XPs 7.5/10). As a beta, I can only hope that it gets better. There are some performance problems that need to be addressed.

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Flickr: Keweenaw, Copper Country, Portage

If you want to check out the place I love, check out the photos in this Flickr Group. Very neat.

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June 25, 2006

We were at the beach

Everybody had matching towels

Somebody went under a dock

And there they saw a rock

It wasn’t a rock

It was a rock lobster

Man…I wish I was smart enough to comprehend the full psychological and philosophical implications of that song…


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Got that song, and “Mrs. Robinson” (kukukatchu…) stuck in my head. Have no idea why.

Today was pretty relaxing. The family went to Downers Grove (a suburb near here, always thought the name sounded like a place stoners would go to pass out) for their heritage festival. Really, it had nothing to do with their heritage, but more with all of the businesses and organizations in the area. Ate at a sweet Mexican restaurant, complete with giant chicken mascot dude walking around.

During lunch, my parents told me that since I saved them a bunch of money by switching to the apartment, they are happy to pay my rent next year. This relieves quite a bit of financial stress on me. Everything I make with Flock and babysitting this summer is, essentially, disposable income. Not going to use it that way, because I do have some things that need to be payed for (car repairs, food, furniture [I think we may need a new futon, the leopard thing may have to be moved in to a bedroom] and general expenses). So taking out the living expenses that I will face, I will still have a decent amount to entertain my impulse buyingness that occasionally stirs up (yes I need a drywall cutting kit from eBay, I don’t care if I can go to Walmart to get it).

I spent a good portion of the day making money in Guild Wars, because I’m going after the status symbol armor in game. After I got done with that, I turned my attention to taxes (gasp).

The way I am employed is a bit odd. I mentioned it earlier, but technically, I am not employed by Flock. I am an independent contractor whom Flock pays for services rendered to them. By legal definition, I am self employed. This mean I have to file taxes a bit differently, and honestly, I can’t tell where to begin. I spent an hour looking at various forms, including 3 different 1040 forms, none of which seemed to relate to each other. That and each form referred to a different form to be filled out, which meant I had to find that form, read it, and find all the other forms that it referred to. In the end, I am a wee bit wiser, but still confused what I need to do. Luckily, the internet has many resources, and I am sure that there is some retired tax accountant who doesn’t mind giving free advice and help. I just have to find him. If push comes to shove, there are always tax accountants that we know (well, my dad knows) that can help.

I regret not bringing home some of my books from college. I’ve got a Jonesing to read over some material in my business law book, and also from my Sysytems and Methods book. All I have is my construction estimating book, which I may look over a few times next week.

By no means are these posts digestible. It’s like swallowing a Giordano’s pizza whole.

Soccer: I know Germany won. I’ve been trying hard not to find out the final score since I have the match tivod

Wootbar update: no progress. Neither Bakke or I know exactly how to write the extension, so we’ve been ripping open other extensions to see how they work. On a related note, nobody comments their extensions…

Ubuntu gripe: Ubuntu has stopped recognizing my wireless card. No clue why, just stopped.

Music I’m grooving: Cowboy Bebop OST, especially the songs “Spy,” “Fantasie Sign,” “What Planet Is This?!” “Too Good Too Bad,” and “Blue”

Political mini-rant: We’ve found 500 shells of mustard and sarin gas (only 3 of these shells killed over 5000 people), and 500 tons of uranium a fair amount of it low-enriched. The WMDs were there.

Soccer rant: People are saying America was overrated in the World Cup. Why was anyone hopeful for them? I was pulling for them, but my expectations weren’t high. America in the World Cup is like Egypt competing in a hockey tourney.

Every night as I am falling asleep, I drive to Houghton in my mind. I’m halfway there right now.

My mind is messed up, I hear my voice as Zach Braff in my head. Seriously messed up.

OK kiddies, I’m heading to bed. Coast to Coast AM is about to come on, so it’s aliens and ghosts and conspiracy theories to lull me to sleep…

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June 22, 2006

Poison Gas Shells Prompt Calls For WMD Search – June 22, 2006 – The New York Sun

Where are those weapons of mass destruction? Well, we have definitely found the biological agents, a declassified report has shown. And those 500 shells were found since last January AFTER the weapons inspectors left, claiming they couldn’t find anything.

Not meaning to spark a political debate, but trying to provoke some conversation.

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…if I don’t take any pictures soon…

The thing is…

June 22, 2006

"Hello floor! Make me a sammich!" -Gir from Invader Zim

I did some stuff today that made me pretty happy. I ran for 20 minutes straight (1.75 miles, do the math), which is actually quite a feat for me. Also, I got my laptop to a state where I can work downstairs tomorrow and keep an eye on the USA-Ghana match. For those not in the know, USA must beat Ghana, and Italy must beat the Czechs in order for the US to proceed.

Our church has been going through this 40 Days of Community program, which is actually quite neat. The general idea is that a church shouldn't be recognized by the things they say, but by the things that they do. So it is more of a switch to outreach. It should be interesting.

The last week was all about tithing. Tithing is basically giving the church 10% of what you make. And there are some points that were made that really got me wondering about the practice. The author of the program is Rick Warren, the man who penned The Purpose Driven Life. He notes that the more you give away, the more you get in return. Maybe not financially, but definitely in other way. If you give people encouragement, you will recieve encouragement. If you gossip, you will be gossiped about. It's the golden rule in action, essentially.

Warren also notes that it is the first 10% you should give. It is a test of faith. Not "See how much you have left over at the end of the month and give that" but "Give the firstfruits of your salary and trust that God will provide." Warren notes that over the years he and his wife have been blessed the more they gave. It took time, but now they live on 10% and give 90% to church and charity..

The family that we kept the kids for a few weeks back was displaced by hurricane Katrina. I did not know the entire situation back then, but more details are being exposed to me. I got paid for hanging out with the kids those few days. The money went straight to a book on Linux. A few days ago, the mother gave me and Jennifer some more money. I honestly tried to refuse it, now that I know the full story (or as much as I will know), but in the end had to accept it to keep her pride in tact. But the money, whether she knows it or not, is going back to her. Our church has been supporting them, and I am making sure that this money (and then some) goes through the church back to them.

And things just keep falling in to place. I mentioned a while back that I was trying to work on a Habitat for Humanity build this summer. It turns out that my sunday school teacher is on the board of directors for the DuPage county branch of HfH. I need to get in contact and see where I can volunteer, and how to fit my work schedule around that.

My point is, detatch yourself. It isn't all about you. There are tons of people around the world who would love to be homeless on the streets of America than in the streets of their country. We are rich. Don't believe me? Then check out Global Rich List…

I'm the 863,571,764 richest person on earth!

Discover how rich you are! >>

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Stephen Hawking gets all the babes…

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Cerebral Palsy

June 21, 2006

flock has the capacity to empower

This made my day, although there were some situations that have been touching our family that are getting harder to cope with every day. I’ll explain tomorrow, if I can find the words…

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