Friday, July 28, 2006

Home Made Tank

This brings back some code enforcement memories:

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hardware Success

I took my A+Hardware class final tonight. I got a perfect score; 660 out of 660. 66 questions, 10 points each. I studied enough, I guess. My average in the class was 94.24. I missed a few assignments, but I guess it was good enough to keep an A.

I have to take the CompTIA test to get the certification, but I'll probably do that in a few weeks. I'll have to take the A+Software class to get the full certification. I'm not sure what other classes I'll take next semester.

I set Nancy up with a Ubuntu Linux desktop. I'm jealous of her flat panel display. I put together the computer I was using when I tried out Fedora Core, and then Ubuntu. She got a cheap harddrive, and I loaded Ubuntu on it, and put only the software she really needs. I copied files from her Mac to her Ubuntu computer, so at the very least, she'll have a backup computer. I think she'll like the new computer, once she gets use to a few differences. Knowing how to use Linux, she'll be ahead of the game.

Here's a pic of Norway. It's just a snapshot someone posted on Looks good, don't it. No McDonald's, no Wal Mart, no Best Buy, not even a Subway. I hope America can keep a few places like this. The only ones I know of are the National Parks. Thank You, Teddy Roosevelt!

Monday, July 24, 2006

16 Hours

Yesterday, I spent 16 Hours at the computer. Studying. Actually I was finishing the last assignments, reviews, and tests of the semester. I was a bit behind, but didn't realize it. Not too far, but it was really good that I didn't have to work yesterday.

My Personal Training business is picking up. I haven't even been trying to get more clients. I knew it would pick up eventually. Funny how things happen all at once. One client is going to be training on his own in a few weeks. Cool guy too. I'll miss seeing him, but that's part of the business. Making personal connectings with your clients is necessary, to really understand how to help them best. It also makes it harder when it's time for them to move on, because it feels like losing a friend. Like I said, it's part of the business. For whatever reason, when it's time for someone to move on, you have to let them, and encourage them to continue training. Some trainers panick at it, but mostly because of the hit in income. But, I've always believe that if I do my job, the clients will come. And they do. Good thing too.

Tomorrow, I'm giving away a computer. I hope there's a wireless access point nearby. In a neighborhood, there usually is. Many of them. The Belkin Wireless USB Network Adapter that works with Ubuntu Linux doesn't have a place for an external antenna. I've cracked open a different model, and didn't find anything resembling antenna. Just a chip. Maybe, somewhere on the net is a 'hacking a USB adapter' to put an antenna on it. If there is, comment for me, or email me the link.

My pattern of training is off. Really off. That's all I'm gonna say on that subject (buring head in fitness shame). No excuses - though I have some good ones.

Sorry no pics today. No Google or YouTube videos either. Couldn't find any good ones.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


I use to think the Mac Mini was one of the best deals for a new computer. I still think it's an excellent option, but now, it's another option. From a System76, comes the Koala Mini:
It does look very close to a Mac Mini:

It's not that Koala copied Apple. They used the Mini ITX motherboard form factor, like Apple did for the Mac Mini. The differece is that Koala uses Ubuntu for their operating system. The price is cheaper too. Not much, but cheap enough.

I like seeing things like this; computer prices dropping, and getting smaller. Desktops will get cheaper too, especially when they use Linux.

It's my prediction that by next year, Christmas 07 probably, we'll see computers drop below the $150 mark. You'll see Linux on more computers, even in places like Best Buy, or CompUSA. You'll especially see them in Wal Mart. Microsoft Vista will be a nice operating system, but I don't think most people will forgo their current hardware when another operating system will work better.

If you have a computer now, chances are Vista won't work on it. At least, not very well. If you have an older computer, it won't work at all.

But Linux will. It will work just fine.

Mac OS is a good operating system. Probably a wee bit more secure than Linux. It also has nice eye-candy -something important for comsumers. The Mac Mini is a great computer. If money's not a problem, get a mac mini. If money's tight -get a used computer, and load Ubuntu on it.

Swimming in 1632

Last week, we worked on the dogs swimming skills. It was so hot after the walks, we thought they'd enjoy a dip in the pool. They did, especially Chili. Ginny has tendency of trying to put her hind legs down to stand up in the water. She hasn't quite got the idea of keeping her back end up. Chili, however, loves doing laps with us. She tends to gulp too much water though.

So far, the Belkin Wireless G USB Network Adapter is working on Ubuntu Linux. Now, I can focus more brain cells on school. What little cells I have left.

Don't forget to read Nancy's Blog:
She's hard at work putting together her short story book. When's she's done, I'll format it, we'll get it edited, and sent to the publisher. We'll do Cory Doctorow style marketing, except for the worldwide speeches. Unless Nancy's up for the travel.

In between all the studying and working, I'm reading the book, 1632, by Eric Flint. If you're into adventure, scifi, and history, this series of books is just for you. I highly recommend them.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ubuntu Bossman Wireless Success

At least, so far.

I've been a busy boy the last few days. On Monday, my laptop crapped out. It wouldn't start past the ATI (video card) driver. That has been a problem in the past, but it may have been even more of a problem than I though. Seems after checking my hard drive, it was a sick little thing. Lots of errors. I ran a few utilities, and fixed the errors on the disk, as far as I could tell. I reinstalled Windows, and I was able to install Ubuntu on it. I'm still setting up all the programs on both partitions. Every time I have to do this -and if you use Windows, you will- I get better at it. My system gets leaner, and I use fewer programs.

Hopefully, I've finally found the wireless option for Linux: the Belkin Wireless G USB Network Adapter.

It didn't work, at first, only to find out I hadn't actually plugged it in. Then it didn't work quite right, till I realized that using the USB harddrive on the front USB connectors interfers with the connectors in the back. After unplugging the hard drive from the back, restarting the computer, Ubuntu recognized the adapter and network right away. I restarted the computer a few times, just to make sure it wouldn't lock up. No problems. So far, this is the wireless solution I've been looking for.

Back to studying.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


This has to be, the best rock video I've ever seen in my life:

Thank you, British Royal Navy.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Technology is becoming harder to explain, and even more difficult to understand. The new Intel Core2 Duo, for instance, may run at a slower speed, it's much faster. The clock speed of a chip is no longer the strong selling point. A Core2 Duo running at 2 Ghz would be somewhat comparable to a 7 Ghz chip. But, the Core2 Duo would use less power, and generate less heat. Supposedly.

Now, if you're not a techy, the previous paragraph probably made little sense. More likely, after the second sentence, you skipped to this one. So did everyone else.

What the techy world misses is that the average person just wants their equipment to work, and work well. They want it to be fast. They don't care if it's in gigahertz, megahertz, or hertz rent-a-car.

The ads might as well say, "This computer has more torque than any other computer in it's class." It would make as much sense to the average user.

My point?
We've got millions of pounds of older equipment around that work just fine. The computer I'm using right now is probably three to four years old, but with Linux, it's fast. I also have WindowsXP Professional on this computer, and it's more than fast enough, but Linux is way faster.

Contrary to popular belief, I'm not preaching the gospel of Linux. I am pointing out that most people don't need to upgrade their hardware, they need to convert their Operation System to a more efficent one.

I do appreciate good hardware, and am looking forward to hearing more about systems like the Dell XPS 700, or the Alienware Aurora ALX.

Personally, I'd go for the Aurora ALX. But, I don't need it. I have no use for four water-cooled graphics cards. Four hard drives. I'm not a gamer. Not an engineer. Not even good at math. Maybe conceptual math, but not good at numbers. The more I use older, lower-end equipment, the more in learn that it's still more than good enough.

I highly encourage you to keep your old equipment, and find ways to keep it in use. If you have a 600 Mhz computer, or anything Pentium II, load Xubuntu on it. Keep it, or give it away, but don't throw it away. We don't need to trash up things more, especially with something that still works just fine.

My Prediction
In the next few years, a cottage industry will arise with the purpose of keeping old equipment in use. Services will come forth that will provide support for those systems, for only a few dollars. We use to have the friendly neighborhood shade-tree mechanic. Now, we'll have the friendly neighborhood shade-tree geek.

Maybe, it could be me?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

russian climbing

Brings Back Memories.

Behind the Times

I thought I was up-to-date on technology, but I can see now I'm behind the times. Here are some guys playing around at the Area51 Campus:

I think invisible Inline Skates would look silly on me, though.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

2nd Hiccup

Two steps forward, one step back.

When I tried to restart the computer (without disabling the wireless connection), Ubuntu hung at "configuring network interfaces". Took the wireless card out, restarted the computer, and it worked, but it will not go past 'configuring...." with the card in now.

I'm up too late with this again. At the very least, I know the Belkin card will work. It just has to be disabled everytime before the computer is shut down. I think.

Ubuntu Wireless Success!

I'm writing this post from on a wireless connection through Ubuntu Linux. It seems the updated kernel enhancements enabled the driver for the Belkin PCI Wireless G card. This is a huge jump in capability for my project. Now, I can offer people a wireless enabled computer. The next part of my project will envolve building a few Pringles Can antennas. I've even seen some built with a handgrip for wardriving. When The Bossman Project has some laptops to give out, I might consider making a few of those, or just some simple antenna extensions.

I was off work today, and spent all day doing homework and lab work. Our 'lab work' is mostly using a simulation program. While the simulation is a great tool, it doesn't complete the kinetic learning necessary with technical labor (did I make any sense at all there?). Having all these computer to work on during this class was a big help. I would do a simulation, then actually try it with real equipment. If I could find the right parts, that is.

I'm really glad I took a friends advice, and didn't take any other classes this semester. While A+ Hardware might not be that difficult for some, and even with the hardware experience I've had, it hasn't been easy. But, it has been loads of fun. How sick is that?

Now, even with my wireless success on Ubuntu Linux, the real success remains to be seen. I haven't restarted this computer. In the past, when I've restarted with the wirless card activated, Linux wouldn't boot up all the way. It would stick on 'configuring network'. My coach used to say, "Once is luck. Twice is coincidence. Three times, it's a skill."

I'll need to get it to work on restart, and two other computers to make wireless on Ubuntu Linux a skill.

The Bossman Project has an email address:

I'm in need of:
  • Monitors
  • Belkin Wireless cards (I know they work, now)
  • 60-80 gig hard drives, preferable 7200rpm
The hard drives that came with the computers are on their last leg. Three of them are giving me; imminent failure warnings, so they can't be depended on much longer.

Eventually, I'll set up a website. Maybe I can use that to learn and practice Nvu.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Bossman Hiccup

I'm having to change my Bossman strategy. Instead of using Linux only as an OS, (particularly Ubuntu), I've decide to add a Windows partition. My 'acquired' a copy of Windows 2000 Professional, and I can put that on almost any machine. The biggest problem is I still haven't figured out wireless. I'll probably get it figured out soon enough, but I want to get some computers in peoples hands. I can set up a dual boot system, so my donations can get use to Linux. Even when I use Windows, I'm loading it with Free and/or Open Source Software (FOSS). I'd prefer to be all Free and Open Source, but I just don't have the expertise. Not yet. I'm not happy with this situation, but it will do for now.

Dead Man's Chest (Pirates of the Carribean) is really good. Long, but really good. It keeps moving. I highly suggest going and seeing it. It didn't knock off Spiderman as the top opening movie for nothing. Even though there are more people in the ending credits than in Orlando, stay through them, and watch the rest of the movie.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


It's now uncovered that Presidents Washington and Lincoln used electronic surveilance:

I feel much safer with intelligent people like The Attorney General of the United States Alberto Gonzales in charge.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mic and Wireless

My technical progress is picking up. I conquered the mic problem with Ubuntu Linux. It was actually a simple one. For some weird reason, the mic installs muted. I guess there is a good reason for that, and I'll understand it later, but not right now. I'm closer to getting the wireless to work. I know it does. I see many people on the message boards getting it to work. It seems to be a bit complicated, but it does work.

I'm beginning to think that the REAL purpose of the retail industry is not to make money, but to get more Americans to not like America or Americans. If that's the case, it's working. Perfectly. I was shocked to realize how many retail companies were open on INDEPENDENCE DAY!! Not even the wonder Mexican Restaurant we like -El Potro- was open. At least THEY understand the value, or at least the illusion of, FREEDOM. But not the over consuming, self important, fat-ass owners and board members of retail companies. I can understand some being open (Home Depot -for minor home emergencies- and even Wal Mart), but most don't need to be. Restaurants are generally okay to be open, but not freakin retail companies.

Maybe I'm more patriotic than I thought, even though I'd like to move to Norway.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Pack Leader

I might have introduced the newest member of our pack, Ginny, but I couldn't remember, and was too lazy to look back through my blog entries. I don't keep a database of them in my head.

Ginny Loo Who is what Nancy calls her. Ginny is a wonderful, full blooded, Lousianna Catahoula Leopard Dog. A bit like a Blue Tick Coonhound, but with smaller ears. These dogs are bread to heard pigs, goats, and sometimes cattle. Mostly pigs. Big ones. Really big ones. Catahoula is a parish in Lousianna. The breed is named for the parish. Leopard describes their appearance. Spotted. Ginny's coloring is described as 'patchwork'. These are good dogs to have if you have children, but you have to get them to learn not to jump up on the kids. Other than that, they are wonderful with kids.

Nancy and I have been watching the Dog Whisperer - Cesar Millan.
We've learned we've made some mistakes training the dog. Mostly, we treated them like little children. They're not. They dogs, and their natural thinking is pack behavior. Cesar trains dogs in a pack leader position. Nancy and I have bought and watch the first season of Dog Whisperer, and have already learned a lot. Nancy's a bit reluctant to position herself as pack leader, so I'm taking to position (Danny beating his chest). It works. It works really well. I HIGHLY recommend getting those DVD's, and learning how he is with dogs.

I used the pack leader position today to get the dogs to swim. They did just fine. They were not happy with it at first, and it will take them awhile to get through the panic. If you have a dog, become the pack leader. I think anyone who has to manage people should learn how to be a calm, assertive pack leader.

Nevermind that. Most people aren't as smart as dogs.