Monthly Archives: April 2001
It’s been very quiet here today — hardly anyone’s around, and my e-mail and phone have been almost idle all day. It’s almost like the end-of-the-year lull.
I agree with Brent — it’s good to be able to turn off computers. I don’t have to worry about servers any more (well, I do have one Manila server still running, but it takes care of itself), but I remember those days all too well. I don’t miss those days, but I remember them!
And I’ll probably keep my computers turned off this weekend; the weather looks wonderful, and I hope to have many better things to do than stare at a screen.
But while I was there, I did pick up a copy of Beta 2 of Windows XP, aka Whistler. And today, I installed it on the sacrificial machine in my office. It installed easily, but there’s no explicit support for my ancient video card (a Matrox Millennium II), and it didn’t detect my monitor (an IBM P201, which should be Plug-and-Play), so it came up at a 60Hz refresh rate — which is headache-inducing in the extreme. And I couldn’t find anywhere to adjust the refresh rate — unlike Win2000 or the Win9x family, the Device Manager doesn’t show “Monitors” at all (at least not in this configuration), and the Display applet wouldn’t let me change the refresh rate, either.
[And yes, Mom, this is another one of those talking in initials entries.]
Back in 1982, video tapes were expensive — $10 each if you got them in quantity, and that was back when $10 was a lot more money than it is today. So we taped everything at 6-hour speed, and whatever tape happened to have room on it got used; we made no attempt to put related items together. Some of our compilations are truly weird, such as the tape with two episodes of “Flickers” (from Masterpiece Theatre) surrounding Gorilla at Large (in 3-D!). I’d like to be able to consolidate the good stuff (yes, I realize that is a relative term), but the recordings I have are pretty bad already, and copying them would probably make them completely unwatchable.
I found a bunch of old episodes of SCTV, too, and I enjoyed going to the episode guide — reading the descriptions there made me chuckle. I wonder if the shows themselves are still funny, or if they’ve aged as badly as so much of Saturday Night Live.
The computers stayed off all weekend, partially in deference to Shabbat and Passover, but mostly because we had better things to do with our time (including Shabbat and Passover). We attended services on both Saturday and Sunday morning at Shir Hadash, a rather abbreviated Seder with our Havurah on Saturday night, and a complete Seder at home on Sunday night. Technically speaking, Reform Jews only recognize one Seder, on the first night of Passover, because there’s only one day of full holiday (just as in Israel), but most years, we go to at least two Sederot, one at our house and the other(s) elsewhere.
Wine of the Day
We had Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc at our Seder at home, and quite enjoyed it; it was fruity and somewhat on the sweet side, which went well with the salmon we had for dinner. We’d had Baron Herzog wines in previous years and hadn’t been very happy about them, but I’d managed to forget the bad experiences when I picked this one up; and at any rate, I was sure we’d like this far better than the traditional Manischewitz!
Movie of the Weekend
I made the mistake of not leaving the room when Jeffrey started watching the MST3K version of Hobgoblins yesterday. When Pearl took it out of the protective cabinet to inflict it on the Satellite of Love crew, I should have heeded the warning: “May cause blindness and death” — it certainly killed a couple of hours I could have spent doing something more productive, like collecting belly-button lint.
My sore throat did turn into a cold; I decided to be a good boy and keep my germs to myself, so I’ve been working from home since Wednesday (though I did spend yesterday afternoon submitting expense accounts and the like in my office, but I kept to myself). Probably the most exciting and productive thing I did was make labels for our collection of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 tapes — we have more than 30, and now it’s possible to figure out what’s on each tape instead of trying to decode someone’s scrawls.
Great news from Sally Khudairi, who’s now officially in remission. Mazel Tov!
Shabbat Shalom and Hag Pesach.
yesterday. I wish it were, but I’ve been noticing something since Sunday. So far, hot drinks are keeping it under control; I hope it’s not strep throat (Jeffrey’s gotten a note from school each of the last two days telling us that he’s been exposed to it there).
The game was fun — and the Sharks won, which made it even more fun, and they scored four goals, which means Jeffrey and I each get a free pizza from Round Table if we get there within the next 7 days (Passover starts on Saturday, which makes that a bit trickier).
Conspiracy Theory of the Day
I suspect we’ll both be rather tired at work and school tomorrow — them’s the breaks!
I spent ten days on the road in March, 2001, visiting Haifa, Hursley (England), and Paris. If you’re interested in the essays I wrote and photos I took on this trip, you’ve found the right place!
- An empty terminal at SFO [March 18]
- Arriving in Haifa and movies en route [March 20]
- Sights around my Haifa hotel and Mongolian Barbecue, Israeli style [March 21]
- Reflections on Hatikvah and discovering I’m a Zionist [March 22]
- Hours of fun on the Motorway [March 23]
- Paris in the Rain and pictures of the Seine [March 24]
- Free day: Montmartre, Marais, and Eiffel tours and pictures [March 25]
- At work at La Defense [March 26]
- Still at work at La Defense, where the cafeteria leaves much to be desired [March 27]
- Real Paris, an AZERTY encounter, and the trip home [March 28]
As a member of the W3C Advisory Board, I was gratified to read the
xmlhack report telling the world that Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, and IBM are to merge under the aegis of W3C. Finally, I’ll be able to take care of some of the nagging problems at work, as well as ensuring that I’m compensated (not “paid” — only peons get “paid”) in a manner befitting my contribution to the industry.