09 September 2002
Bah. I was looking forward to spending the evening kicking around the web when this headache crept up to behind my eyes from a stiff neck. Probably payback from well, mum would say smoking, but that and some comfort food consumption which included a pound of gorgonzola on biscuits and a couple of packs of Oreos chased down with too many cups of a fine French roast the kind lady at the deli grinds for me.
I must have known this was coming or I wouldn't have shopped for the perfect antidote: a kilo of chunky winter salad, which contains pineapple, orange slices, guava, kiwi fruit and strawberries, followed by a bean salad with some wheat-free rye. Delicious. Now, why can't I eat like this all the time?
06 September 2002
Talk radio is a staple for me, always in the car and by the bed. Cape Talk is a great channel, with guests like Danny Schechter and Scott Ritter in the last two days.
The stories of violence here are horrific, each one far worse than anything back in the UK. The beauty and brightness of the place heightens my anxiety - something about the idea of having one's brains blown out on a fine sunny day makes it more vivid to me. Pulp Fiction style but without the humour. Then I remember it's the same in most places.
A handicapped girl is shot, later dies, because she isn't getting out of the charity minibus that's being hijacked quickly enough; two agricultural researchers are found alive having been bound and had their throats slit when attacked while on a field trip; a lady is 'jacked in town during rush hour, found days later in a suburban morgue by a PI for the insurance company.
OMG, a flotilla of boats just arrived about 200 yards from my balcony, and they're whale watching!
What was I thinking?
Oh yeah, about reducing my life story to five words or so. I haven't really got there yet, but two that occurred to me were I am alone and I'm reluctant to accept responsibility. I came closest this morning while pondering a pattern wherein I seem to want to invest in people that I know will leave me with nothing or less than I started with:
I'll love you anyway
(For what it's worth, I'm not sure this serves either of us well)
Currently regretting not taking my camera down to the scrap yards when I went to get some wheel covers.
02 September 2002
to Mandrake Linux! It's the mutts nuts. FreeS/WAN, Gnome 2, it's got everything! Best of all, it's European. Yes, I know about SuSE, but I have to try and be different.
I cut the CD's of the 9.0 Beta1 in a fit of anticipated ADSL deprivation just for testing under VMware. Now I've had to install it as, after dicking up some Debian kernels, I've found my Debian CD's are corrupted beyond repair.
(Keep this quiet from the Mandrake peeps, or they'll make me feel guilty for not filing bug reports). They're on Beta4 now. When the release candidate comes out I'll cut some CD's remotely and get them sent out. As a paid up member I'll allow myself two downloads a year. The two problems I can see with this, though, are that tech support being what it is in Hammersmith is going to take about three days to locate and change a blank CD, and anything going through the post here that looks as if it might be of value goes missing.
No more mucking with kernels for me, no siree.
You can even install a wireless card without compiling a custom kernel, though I haven't done this yet.
Sorry about all this geek stuff, more photos soon. Or maybe not - I paid good money for a copy of Macromedia's Fireworks some years back and now I want to use it on this pc but the timed out trial version only gives me the option to Buy Now or Exit and there wasn't anywhere to put the reg'n number in. The support email address they give me doesn't even exist any more. Ferkin shite. Probably I'll have to go and buy another copy of some software I've already paid for, the registration number of which went with the XP installation. We'll see - I've just written to customer support.
28 August 2002
26 August 2002
The compact Debian GNU/Linux install went fine. There were some options I hadn't seen before from previous installs under VMware which was to be expected, some I didn't understand. It dialled out first time through the card modem on Mr. Generic that there had been problems with.
First up: Checkinstall, linux-wlan, The Circle, some Python tutorials.
It must say something about me that the most fun I've had in recent weeks was running three copies of the same Debian GNU/Linux install (with Checkinstall installed) concurrently under VMware - hundreds of browser windows and tabs to crawl through it at 28.8k. Can't yet find a way to use Squid or other caching (wwwoffle?) to bring up all those browser windows intact after a reboot. I was attracted to this technique by the following quote:
Redo files can be nested multiple times. This leads to another trick for advanced users, of providing undoable disk capability, at multiple points in time.
I'd like to be doing this sort of thing with the Familiar distribution, but don't know a lot about emulation, or if it's possible.
As it is the slow news season, I'll play a game on Win: Collapse. F3+4 or F3+8 takes you to those levels if the early ones are too slow for you. F3+s toggles sound.
22 August 2002
What was going to be a long boring story involving googling, corrupted dlls and product protection is now just a poor excuse for having something to write: the disk is ok, but the OS is stuck half way through the setup routine, which fails to copy across the relevant dlls, which prevent it from installing. It takes around 45 mins to get to this stage, which seems to be a consequence of mswsock.dll or phlpapi.dll(?) being fscked. Catch 22. A minimal boot disk doesn't help, and finding a laptop that can take a second drive is beyond me given time constraints.
So, does anyone know of utilities I can use that fit into 250/300k or so that I can copy the the really important things one by one onto a diskette? (Four 1mb photos including a classic "is she stoned" self portrait). Um, not sure how I'll know which are the important photos as they're not individually named. NTFS, btw, in case it makes a difference. Blech. I'll probably just move on with the Debian GNU/Linux install.
Networking was the first to go, just as I was copying the last 2 gigs over wireless to the other laptop. Ironic no? A short while later even the help system wouldn't work.
While crying for help, I need an algorithm for quitting a Frontier install when system memory reaches a certain level. At the moment it quits after a certain number of hits.
21 August 2002
(Sea Point, where I'm staying, is a predominantly Jewish community on the Atlantic Seaboard side of Cape Town, with longer days and sunset views)
The traffic police can stop and question anyone for anything, or so it seems, but mostly they stop people for not wearing seatbelts then check your ID and drivers license and look over the car.
My first run-in with them was within two hours of arriving: while tailing delightful cousin Des to my flat she was talking on the phone and a car pulled in between us. She got a R300 fine for using her mobile without hands free.
I've been stopped a couple of times since, once for not wearing a seatbelt, once for no particular reason that I could ascertain.
Noone seems to mind as it's usually a fair cop, they're young and friendly and less intimidating than fully fledged police people.