Archive for August 2003

Got it working

I finally got Linux on the iBook to connect to my network through the Airport base station.  I needed to set up the static IP number and DNS, tell it where the gateway is and tell it the Airport network name and password.  Took me awhile to figure out that it wanted the hex equivalent password instead of the regular one, but that did the trick.  I ended up using the ‘neat’ gui for all the configuring instead of mucking around on the command line.  So now I have it updating packages with yum, and I’m posting on my blog using Linux on an iBook.  HOW COOL IS THAT??

I’m all updated on the Mac side as well, and all my old data is back.  Remind me never to use the zip format for archiving system files, okay?  It didn’t handle some of my longer filenames correctly and also failed to save some of the data-types correctly.  I just thought… wrong.  I thought wrong.  I’ll use tar from now on and forsake all others!

Dual boot iBook

I’ve spent the last 24 hours or so in computer limbo trying to turn my iBook into a dual-boot system running Jaguar alongside Yellow Dog Linux.  I had tons of problems, first with the partitioning and then with the YD install CDs I’d burned.  But I finally got it done.  I’m not connected to the net yet on the Linux side — it didn’t recognize and/or configure my Airport connection — but other than that everything seems to work.  So the big battle is won and I can start in on the configuration and get my data ported back over from the PC.  Sure wish I had a bigger hard drive, but this’ll force me not to leave a bunch of stuff lying around that I don’t need.

Update on my dad

So, Daddy’s surgery will happen either in a week or in two weeks, we’re not quite sure but we’ll know soon.  Lucie is going to go out there a few days beforehand to help out — she twisted his arm to let her be there and he finally relented.  :-) If it goes well, they’ll all go back to San Antonio and that’ll be that.  If it goes very badly (God forbid), then Lucie will be there to help deal with… the issues.  If it turns into a prolonged thing the way it did three years ago, then I will be going out there to take over the helping-out duties so Lucie can get back to her job and family.  I wish I could go out there right now but… that would be a circus and we don’t want that.  Anyway the odds are it’ll go well.  So I’m just waiting to find out when the surgery is, and planning to leave my time more or less open in case anybody needs me.  I’m so glad Lucie’s going to be there for the surgery day.  It would be different if this were all happening in Texas (or Illinois!) but since it’s so far away, I feel a lot better knowing one more family member will be there representin’.

Fixed my tooth

John and I went to the dentist this morning, I just got back home.  He set it up so we’d go together, and boy am I glad he did!!  There is no bad news… my filling is fixed and we were outta there in less than two hours.  They did x-rays and everything else looks about as good as it can look considering how much stuff I’ve had done to my mouth over the years.  The only reason the tooth was hurting was because of the broken filling pressing up in weird ways against the tooth… it didn’t break because of decay, it was just due to sheer age.  (Some of these fillings go back twenty years.) So it was just a matter of digging it out and replacing it again.  And the stain I was worried about is only a stain, not a sign of something more dire going on.  It was cheap too.  I really like this dentist!  I’m going back for a cleaning in October.  I’m very relieved and very glad I don’t need another crown or a root canal or whatever the hell else I’ve had done too many times before. :-|

No more SPEWS?

There’s a discussion happening on /. about the apparent demise of the SPEWS blacklist.  I never knew much about them, and never really needed to find out since I’m not a mail administrator and (knock on wood) have never been a victim of their "collateral damage"… for the uninitiated, this is a spam blacklist used by many ISPs to filter spam from real mail.  It’s run by unknown people and you can’t talk to them, you can only throw a message in a bottle into the ocean and hope it washes up on a beach somewhere and gets found.  Seriously though… you think I’m an anti-spam freak, those guys are over the top! They’re known for blocking huge blocks of IP numbers because an ISP is hosting spammers. Innocent people putting their sites on spam-friendly ISPs get hosed in the process and discover that they can’t send mail to people on other ISPs that use the SPEWS blacklist to filter mail.

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I’m a cowboy

I think I’m ready now.  I’ve deleted as much as I can off my iBook’s hard drive. I am now going to attempt to partition it and install Yellow Dog Linux* as a dual-boot with OS X.  I’m excited, and a little scared, but mostly excited.  Wish me luck!

* Much thanks to Rob J. for the suggestion, and for the nice birthday e-mail to which I utterly failed to reply.

Auction’s closing tomorrow

Don’t forget to place your bid on my very first eBay auction! Of course you probably don’t want what I’m peddlin’ unless you’re a big Peter Murphy fan, and it really is only a trial run for me so I can learn how to do the eBay thing.  But maybe there’s some added value in being able to tell all your friends that you won my very first auction.  Then they’ll be able to say… "WHOSE auction?  Edith Frost?  Never heard of her… you threw away your money on that?!  Whatever!"

Not today

They’ve called off Daddy’s surgery for today; his protein levels are too low to risk attempting it right now.  They’re working on that, he’s in the hospital getting pumped up with super-duper liqui-food.  Depending on how he responds, it’ll happen in the next few days at the earliest, or the next two weeks at the latest.  He sounded good on the phone, chipper as always.  Said he felt a lot better already, just due to the nutrition they’d given him overnight, so that’s great to hear.

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Yayyy!!  Deborah called

My Holler Sister Deborah called me, just to see how my dad’s doing.  She thought it was Tuesday already.  It was soooo great to hear her voice.  She’s going to check back here presently, so HEY DEBORAH!!!!!

I’m really on pins and needles, scared about what’s going to happen tomorrow.  I had one particularly freaked-out moment and called Lucie at work, she tried to talk me down a little.  She reminds me that the odds are Daddy will do alright during the surgery; what we really ought to be worrying about is what happens afterward, whether it’ll actually help him or not.  :-|

AOLater for you

I cancelled my AOL account just now.  It was completely superfluous anyway and I just don’t use it anymore at all.  I used to use it a lot for travelling, and it worked especially well for me in Europe.  But that was back when they didn’t have internet cafes dotting every streetcorner.  Now it’s almost easier to find access there than it is here!  I’d bumped the account down to the $5/month option back in June, figuring I should keep it just in case my Earthlink DSL crapped out.  But it almost never does, and the few times that it has, I’ve been able to connect using their dialup numbers.  If the day ever comes that even that doesn’t work, I reckon I’ll just wait a few hours like normal people do!

Happy now?

I now have Knoppix CDs that actually work, for both the PC and yes, my iBook too.  Which I guess answers my question, "Can you run Linux on an iBook?" Yes you can.  How cool is that?  It didn’t recognize my Airport connection but it was a thrill just to see KDE running on this thing.  Maybe another CD-distro will work better… I’ll look around, maybe there’s one tailor-made for the iBook.

So if I have Knoppix CDs, that means of course I went and got a new CD burner today (=yesterday).  Jeff, you wanna come see me smash my Iomega now? You can even help, I have an old Click’o’Death zipdrive just for you.  Heheh. So, the new one is the cheapest most affordable external I could find, an I/OMagic MagicWriter 4x4x6.  It works fine on the Linux machine but unfortunately doesn’t on the iBook, which kinda defeats the purpose of buying an external, but oh well. Maybe one day I’ll put a Linux partition on here and be able to use it that way.

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Just works (NOT)

My frickin’ data CD-burner won’t work anymore, it’s driving me insane.  It’s an old Iomega Predator jobbie.  I had a lot of trouble with it before when I was trying to make CDs for Lindsay and Josh, and now it won’t work at all.  I stayed up for hours last night trying to get it to burn a simple Knoppix ISO I wanted.  I tried everything, tried different brands of CD, tried it on both computers and it does the same thing.  Whirrrrr, stop, whirrr, stop, whirrrr, stop.  Then it thinks about it and finally pops open, having given up.  On the Linux PC it just freezes up xCDRoast and won’t continue.  On the Mac I keep getting a weird error that says "target device error error".  It’s not just an error, it’s an ERROR error!!  The last time I tried it a few minutes ago, it actually popped open and SPIT OUT the blank CD and threw it spinning across the floor.  Fscking thing.  GRRRRR!!!  I’ve been looking at prices online; they’re really cheap now so maybe I’ll go get one today.  I’ve got no choice, it’s a pretty central requirement to my continued operation as a computer geek and (sometime!) musician.

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Saturday for me-me-me

I have today all to myself, it feels nice.  It wouldn’t be so nice if John were going to be away much longer, but only one full day?  I can handle that.  I spoke to him yesterday evening, that was very nice, and we e-mailed each other today.  All is going well with the family out there, and it’s good he’s spending quality time with them, so I’m glad about that.

Alyce called late last night (later is better!) probably knowing that I’d be missing the sound of another voice.  She’s about to travel to Seattle to see Radiohead and I’m excited for her.  She needs a job and so do I, but neither of us should be worrying about it as much as we are.  We follow our noses and things usually work out don’t they?

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Goodbye to Wesley

photo by Mike BellWesley Willis, one of my favorite people in Chicago, died yesterday.  The news is spreading fast; I just found out five minutes ago from a post on Metafilter.  I’m so sad about this.  I haven’t seen him in several years now. I met him almost as soon as I moved to Chicago and for awhile there I saw him and talked to him on a near-daily basis.  He would always ask me to tell his demons to shut up, which I did, and it was no joke; his demons were very real.  I bought his CDs, I admired his artwork and I really respected him as an artist.  Poor Wesley!!  I had no idea about all the health trouble he’s had recently.  Didn’t he have enough troubles already without this?  It doesn’t seem fair, but then… much of his life was not fair either, but look at everything he did!  I just hope he’s at peace and finally did get rid of all his demons.  I really believe he was a great person, a real hero.  He accomplished a hell of a lot more than most of us ever will, despite mental, physical and social barriers that I wouldn’t even wish on my worst enemy.  Rock on Wesley!!  I will never ever forget you!!

Serious stuff

John is leaving in the morning (THIS morning that is) for a weekend with the folks in Ohio.  He’s going to meet his sister’s new baby Mary Jane, who was born on the exact same day as my own sister Lucie’s baby Clark.  I’m going to miss him!!  I’m not exactly going to be alone here, since I live within screaming distance of dozens of other apartment dwellers, some of whom I actually know by name.  And I have these two killer tigers to protect me.  :-) But still, it’ll be pretty quiet around here.  I haven’t worked on music in awhile so I’ll probably do a little of that.

Tomorrow (=today) is also a big travel day for my dad.  He’s going with Joy (his wife, my step-mom) out to California to have some major abdominal surgery, which will happen on Tuesday unless things get rescheduled as they sometimes do.  I’ve been talking to him every few days on the phone, and called him again tonight.  Of course I’m really concerned about this surgery, I’m afraid he might not make it through, and it’s hard not to let that show when I talk to him.  Then again, the fact is that if he doesn’t have the surgery, he will almost certainly die very soon.  I don’t mean to sound so matter-of-fact about it; it’s just the truth. The possibility of him dying is something I’ve been forced to accept over the past three years whether I like it or not.

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