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Sunday, July 30th, 2006

Time Event
One hundred years of reading this book
I'm rereading One Hundred Years of Solitude, a book I only partially read for a high school English class years ago. Two things about me and reading books: one is that I'm a slow but thorough reader; I can recite nearly all details in what I've read even weeks afterward but I'm about twice as slow as my faster reading friends. The other is that reality and the fiction I read collide and meld in my head and I frequently make silent comparisons between the characters in each. It's actually comforting, because I'm learning that my existence isn't all that atypical and the future that the fiction predicts is both believeable and not entirely disappointing.

One Hundred Years of Solitude is a long book, though. I'm not quite half way through and the book could have ended three times already. The cast of characters grows old, dies, new ones are born, mature, marry, have children, and the story goes on. It's of course a very nice device to chronicle the city of Macondo but -- I'm already satisfied with my meal, I don't need the rest of this entree. Oh, well, I'll keep poking at it, it still tastes good.
Foot wipes
I flew up to Seattle for the day yesterday. Blushing a little I'll admit that I got a thrill about going on a *day* trip 700 miles away. Handy that there's a steady stream of commercial jets that fly between Seattle and the Bay Area all day long.

I wore my sandals on the trip and was asked to take them off for screening. On the return trip, in Seattle, the security attendant offered me a disinfectant wipe -- a foot wipe -- as I walked through the metal detector. Uh, sure. A nice feature, of course -- I know that *my* feet are clean but I've seen some pretty scary bare feet in sandals flying before. The carpet in SJC's security area on the way out was sorta damp, too. No wipes there.
I'm a geek again
(okay, only one more update for the day, I promise.)

Months ago the linux side of my dual-boot PC stopped working; the hard drive crashed. Weeks ago I reformatted the drive and installed Ubuntu and it seemed to work. Great! About three days later the drive crashed again. Okay, dumb idea to try using a suspicious drive to begin with; bad Corey.

Today I bought a new drive from Fry's and loaded Ubuntu again. Installing linux is so different these days from "back in my day" -- you have GUIs to configure things, the installer partitions and formats the drive automatically, you just need to hit return every few minutes to agree to the correct default setting. Only problem is, what you're left with is a VCR that blinks 12:00. Or so I felt like -- this isn't *my* linux, this is some fancy pants new kids' linux. *sigh* I'm not that old yet...

Anyway, I buckled down and drove through making configuration changes to make my computer be my computer again. My new display card wasn't recognized (ATI Radeon X1300) but there are drivers from ATI for it. Hurrah for Google search and the Ubuntu wiki forums for providing me the step-by-step instructions. Then came fvwm (a *taskbar* for *linux*??), cvs, emacs, dot files, alias, syncing up with the data drive that I share between windows and linux, and finally: I have a linux workstation again. I can code at home! I can play Freeciv! I'm a geek again!

Why spend a perfectly fine Sunday afternoon in front of a computer rather than playing with the other kids? Good question; too bad I've already promised that this is the last update for today. ;)

Current Mood: geeky

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