November 30, 2007

Oh, Christmas tree

While some of you might think that the picture below is cute and creative, what you're missing is that it's a crime against nature. Look closely and see if you can spot what's wrong.

beer bottle tree.JPG

Did you notice? The bottles are EMPTY!!! They should be full until you slowly disassemble the tree over the course of a few days, emptying the bottles into your stomach. Now that's a celebration.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:31 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Quote of the day

Not surprisingly, it's from the maker of worlds:

How strange it is that atheists would be so widely loathed when we have spiteful, antagonistic morons like this to vindicate us.

Really, what more is there to add to that comment.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 29, 2007

lmomst done

Well, I'm down to 190 spam comments to clean up. About 2-3 more painful sessions and I'll be back to a clean blog. Except for the crap that I write, of course. I've got a potty keyboard.

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 28, 2007

Pay attention

There is a lesson to be learned here somewhere.......

First-year students at Texas A&M's Vet school were receiving their first anatomy class, with a real dead cow. They all gathered around the surgery table with the body covered with a white sheet. The professor started the class by telling them, "In Veterinary Medicine it is necessary to have two important qualities as a doctor: The first is that you not be disgusted by anything involving the animal body. For an example, the Professor pulled back the sheet, stuck his finger in the butt of the dead cow, withdrew it and stuck it in his mouth.

"Go ahead and do the same thing," he told his students. The students freaked out and hesitated for several minutes. But eventually they took turns sticking a finger in the anal opening of the dead cow and sucking on it. When everyone finished, the Professor looked at them and said, "The second most important quality is observation. I stuck in my middle finger and sucked on my index finger. Now learn to pay attention.

"Life's tough, it's even tougher if you're stupid."

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Video transcoding made easy

Let's assume that you're already a Linux user. Let's also stipulate that your particular desktop of choice is KDE. With both those things being true, you can easily convert video files from within your file manager, such as Konqueror or Dolphin. Excerpt:

KDE users, here’s a neat application that creates a ’service’ in your file manager that allows you to easily convert videos to other formats using ffmpeg.

ffmpegmenu is what you need. After copying the simple script into the right directory, an action will appear in the sidebar of either Konqueror or Dolphin (your choice), which easily allows you to convert selected video to DVD, MPEG or into iPod format with a couple of clicks.
...
Once installed, highlighting a .avi file should show the following in the sidebar (this screenshot from Dolphin):

ffmpegmenu.png

And it’s done!

Anyhoo, check it out.

Posted by Physics Geek at 11:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Early reviews aren't good

Iowahawk reports on the dismal box office takes for many of the anti-Santa movies. He ends it with my favorite line from one of my favorite jokes:

Despite the disappointing weekend showing, MPAA spokesman Bell said that industry still has high hopes for 17 more anti-Santa films that will open nationwide this weekend, including "The Reindeer Hunter," "Shop Loss," and Quentin Tarantino's much anticipated "Workshop of Blood."

"Chances are, one of them will be a hit," said Bell. "There's got to be a pony in there somewhere."

Actually, the joke is pretty old. I heard it long before Reagan started telling it. Between that punchline and "At least we've got feathers!", I generate more perplexed glances from people than you can shake a stick at.

Ahh, here's the version that I remember. Apparently the joke's been massaged many times over the years, but the punchline hasn't changed.

A couple had twin boys of five or six. Worried that the boys had developed extreme personalities -- one was a total pessimist, the other a total optimist -- their parents took them to a psychiatrist.

First the psychiatrist treated the pessimist. Trying to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys. But instead of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears. "What's the matter?" the psychiatrist asked, baffled. "Don't you want to play with any of the toys?" "Yes," the little boy bawled, "but if I did I'd only break them."

Next the psychiatrist treated the optimist. Trying to dampen his out look, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist emitted just the yelp of delight the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear from his brother, the pessimist. Then he clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands.

"What do you think you're doing?" the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. "With all this manure," the little boy replied, beaming, "there must be a pony in here somewhere!"


Posted by Physics Geek at 08:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 27, 2007

Clean up on aisle seven

I've just spent a few minutes cleaning up 60 spam comments. I have 600+ still to go. Ugh. However, since I seem to have stemmed the flow of new ones, I'll slowly clean up this pile of pigshit that the spammers have left behind. In any event, I'm glad that comments are open once again. Talk at all of you soon.

Posted by Physics Geek at 11:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 26, 2007

Well, this is interesting

I know that someone else is bound to have posted about this "nuclear battery", but I think that it's pretty cool. Carry it to wherever, bury it and voila! 27 MW electric power. My questions, of course, would concern waste disposal and economic viability. Assuming that the answers are reasonable, I'd be fine with the idea. I'll be interested to see where it leads.

Update: I should have known the the Slashdotters would be all over it.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Backup and restore your hard drive

So you want to create a complete image of your hard drive and you want to do it while you're working on your computer. Give DriveImage XML a try. Lifehacker gives you the lowdown. Excerpt:

First, download DriveImage XML for free and install it as usual. You can store your system image anywhere you'd like, but I highly recommend saving it on a disk other than the one you're imaging. So if you plan to image your C: drive, purchase an external hard drive to store C:'s image, or right after you create the image, burn the files to CD or DVD. This way if your C: drive fails or breaks, you still have your image available on a separate physical disk.
...

Perform a Complete System Restore

If your computer's hard drive crashed entirely, you can restore it to its past state using the DiX image you created. Restoring an image to a target disk will delete everything on the disk and copy the contents of the image to it. That means you cannot restore an image to a drive you're already using (because you can't delete the contents of a disk already in use.) So if you booted up your computer on your C: drive, you can't restore an image to your C: drive. You need access to the target drive as a secondary disk. There are a few ways to do this. You can install the target drive as a slave in another PC in addition to its primary boot drive, or you can buy a hard drive enclosure and connect the target as an external drive. Either way, to restore a disk image to a drive you intend to boot from, you'll need:
  1. A PC running DriveImage XML
  2. The saved disk image files, whether they're on CD, DVD, on the host PC or on an external drive
  3. A target drive with a partition at least the size of the drive image files. (You can use Windows built-in Disk Management console or your partition manager of choice to create a new partition to restore to.)

There's a lot more to read.

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Not surprising

I could have predicted the results of this quiz, especially since I answered an emphatic YES to the "Do you like redheads?" question:

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

























Spider-Man
80%
Green Lantern
75%
Superman
65%
The Flash
65%
Supergirl
60%
Hulk
60%
Robin
55%
Catwoman
45%
Iron Man
45%
Wonder Woman
40%
Batman
35%
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.


Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:05 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 20, 2007

the Cameron Column #1(#57 reprinted): The Thanksgiving Turkey

If you've never read any of Bruce Cameron's articles, you've been missing out. He stopped writing for a while, restarted and then stopped again. Maybe he finally ran out of ideas. In any event, here is his Thanksgiving column circa 1998.
==================================================

Like many men, I am different from my wife in ways which are noticeable, and, in my opinion, fortunate.

Take the Thanksgiving turkey (and I mean that literally. PLEASE come over to our house, open the refrigerator, shove aside everything growing green fuzz, and take this carcass away before it reincarnates as turkey lasagna or turkey tetracycline or whatever new concoction awaits the family.) But take Thanksgiving--my wife prefers small birds that fit nicely into the roasting pan and which can be cooked in a few hours.

"Ha!" I can be quoted as sneering. I trace my own gender lineage to that proud, hairy group of hunter-gatherers who, prior to the invention of TV remote control, would pick up their spears, huddle, and then go out and pull down a huge bison for dinner, stopping at the bar on the way home for a couple of cave brews. So when I go to the store for a turkey, I find a TURKEY: a mammoth, many-pound fowl with drum sticks as large as my thighs and wings you could park a car under.

Words cannot describe the delight on my wife's face when my neighbors help me carry the bird into the refrigerator, where, following the instructions, it is left to thaw for a period of six months. (My wife often has several interesting but impractical suggestions on where else we might stick the turkey for this thawing procedure.) Cooking begins around Halloween, a slow roasting process which varies from my mother's recipe in that there are no flames or threats of divorce "if anybody says a word about how the turkey tastes."

I enjoy every step of turkey preparation, particularly since I am not involved in any of it. Well, that's not entirely true--at one point, I am asked to reach into the mouth of the turkey and retrieve the giblets, which turns out to be a bag of what looks like pieces of Jimmy Hoffa. (I realize I am not, technically speaking, putting my hand in the bird's "mouth," but I'd rather not dwell on what this means.) How the turkey manages to swallow this stuff in the first place is beyond me. Traditionally, we open this bag, dump the contents into a pan of water, and boil the results. Only the cat is happy about this development.

As wonderful as this all is, by the fourth or fifth night my appetite for turkey variations has waned, and I provide valuable feedback to my wife by making gagging noises at dinner time. Her verbal (as opposed to projectile) response to this is to imply that it is somehow MY fault we have so many leftovers, to which I logically reply, "hey, YOU cooked it."

Now, before you men out there become too smug with how adroitly I out maneuvered her with my quick retort, you should be advised that she STILL blames me for our turkey-induced bulimia. Therefore I appeal to my readership: has anyone else noticed bizarre psychiatric reactions to turkey consumption which might explain this whole controversy? Please advise via return e-mail, which will be picked up by the crack WBC technical team and, judging by previous results, forwarded to the Governor of New Jersey.

Thanks... oh, and Happy Thanksgiving too.

The Cameron Column, A Free Internet Newsletter
Copyright W. Bruce Cameron 1998
================================================

Update: My bad. I used to be on his mailing list; not sure why I'm not now. In any event, Bruce Cameron appears to have been writing up a storm. You can find his stuff here, including my all-time favorite column.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:36 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Spicing up Thanksgiving dinner

Why yes, I did post this last year. Thanks for asking
=========================================

Here is a new way to prepare your Thanksgiving or Christmas Turkey.

1. Cut out aluminum foil in desired shapes.
2. Arrange the turkey in the roasting pan, position the foil carefully (see
attached)
3. Roast according to your own recipes and serve.
4. Watch your guests' faces.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

How to cook a turkey

Reposted from last year.

=====================
This has been making its way around the Internet since 1500 B.C., even though the first computer still hadn't been manufactured yet. However, if there's one thing that you can count on me for, it's recycling the stalest holiday humor you've ever seen between now and the New Year.
---------------------------------------------------
HOW TO COOK A TURKEY

Step 1: Go buy a turkey

Step 2: Take a drink of whiskey, scotch, or JD

Step 3: Put turkey in the oven

Step 4: Take another 2 drinks of whiskey

Step 5: Set the degree at 375 ovens

Step 6: Take 3 more whiskeys of drink

Step 7: Turn oven the on

Step 8: Take 4 whisks of drinky

Step 9: Turk the bastey

Step 10: Whiskey another bottle of get

Step 11: Stick a turkey in the thermometer

Step 12: Glass yourself a pour of whiskey

Step 13: Bake the whiskey for 4 hours

Step 14: Take the oven out of the turkey

Step 15: Take the oven out of the turkey

Step 16: Floor the turkey up off the pick

Step 17: Turk the carvey

Step 18: Get yourself another scottle of botch

Step 19: Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey(Ed. note: this didn't used to be possible)
Update: More on this here.

Step 20: Bless the saying, pass and eat out

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A special Thanksgiving Day message

You might remember this special holiday image from last year. This time, I won't hide it in the extended entry.


piece of me.jpg


Posted by Physics Geek at 08:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 19, 2007

The furry members of our family.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by this site- or sent me emails- to offer supportive comments after my dog was attacked by a rabid raccoon. Some of you have sent followup communications inquiring as to his health. I'm pleased to announce that Diego has been running around the backyard for the last couple of hours. He's officially a free dog, after 6 months of incarceration. I can't wait to get home and play with him.

In this time of joy for me, I'm quite mindful of sadness in the lives of others. Rachel Lucas had to put Digger to sleep. I know that she's agonizing over the loss, even while realizing that Digger was finally pain free. And poor Moxie lost her beloved Bentley. Please stop by and offer your condolences to both. Words are small comfort in times like these, but sometimes it's all that we have to offer. And it does help.

Posted by Physics Geek at 04:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 15, 2007

Bastards

I've received over 300 spam comments within the last 4 days. Add in the 400+ that I've already got backlogged and I may never get out from under. God, I hope Pixy Misa gets the big bloggers moved soon. I've shut down comments on my new posts, but all the older ones are getting crushed. I'd shut down all comments if I could, but apparently I can't. Maybe I can refuse to accept comments on posts older than 5 days or something. Either that or I'll randomly brain people on the street. After all, they're probably in cahoots with those magic picture people.

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:05 AM | TrackBack

November 14, 2007

Time to bring back Mr. Pointy

Of course I'm talking about the stake Buffy used

Sure I am. In any event, our favorite Slayer (I do like Faith a lot) posed for Maxim magazine's December issue. There are some preview photos for your viewing pleasure. Okay, MY viewing pleasure.

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:11 AM | TrackBack

When you like the audio as much or more than the video

So you've got a great concert DVD that you love. It would be great to listen to the music while driving, but it's contraindicated to watch a video while driving, the recent growth of in-dash DVD players notwithstanding. Well now you can rip the audio "from DVD, VCD/SVCD and MPEG (MPEG-1, MPEG-2) files into MP3 which can be played in MP3 Players." I present to you the Free DVD to MP3 Ripper. Excerpt:

Key Features
  • It's clean and free, without any adware or spyware.
  • It's stable and fast.
  • It supports DVD movie files(*.vob), VCD/SVCD movie files(*.dat) and MPEG(MPEG-1, MPEG-2) files(*.mpeg, *.mpg).
  • By choosing the start and end point visually, you can fine tune the selection of the source video file to extract into MP3.
  • It uses up-to-date and high quality libraries to encode MP3.
  • It's not affected by any DVD copy protection.
  • The installing and uninstalling process is very easy.

Pretty cool stuff, huh? Here are the Tips and Tricks:

Tip 1:Free DVD MP3 Ripper can not only rip DVD Movie files (*.vob), but also extract audio from VCD, SVCD Movie files(*.dat) and MPEG files(*.mpeg; *.mpg) into MP3.

Tip 2:By sliding the Start Point Cursor and End Point Cursor, you can tune the selection to rip easily.

Tip 3:Before ripping, click the "Edit ID3..." link, you can edit the ID3 tag for output MP3.

Tip 4:Before ripping, click the "Change Settings..." link, you can change the output MP3 settings (bitrate, samplerate, channel mode and VBR).

Tip 5:You can search and get tons of free music clips in MPEG format from Yahoo Video Search (http://video.search.yahoo.com/), all these files can be converted to MP3 files that can be played in your MP3 player.


Posted by Physics Geek at 08:34 AM | TrackBack

November 13, 2007

Online photo editing part deux

Back here I posted about several online photo editors available for your use. Turns out that Fauxto has been revamped and renamed as Splashup. Here's what the website has to say:

Splashup, formerly Fauxto, is a powerful editing tool and photo manager. With all the features professionals use and novices want, it's easy to use, works in real-time and allows you to edit many images at once. Splashup runs in all browsers, integrates seamlessly with top photosharing sites, and even has its own file format so you can save your work in progress.

Might be worth a look before investing in some expensive editing software.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:59 PM | TrackBack

Complete and utter bullshit

Everyone, I take it, is aware of the Magic Eye pictures. Is that correct? And you can all see the pictures hidden within, right? Sure you can... you lying fuckers. I swear to God that all of you are in cahoots to drive me me completely batshit crazy. In other words, you want me to become one of the Kos Kidz. Because I've listened to all of the people in the mall, read the instructions in the books at Barnes and Noble and followed to the letter what the Magic Eye™ website said to do and all I get are dry eyes, a headache and an overwhelming desire to bitchslap all you liars for fucking with me. To wit:

3D Viewing Instructions

Hold the center of the printed image right up to your nose. It should be blurry. Focus as though you are looking through the image into the distance. Very slowly move the image away from your face until the two squares above the image turn into three squares. If you see four squares, move the image farther away from your face until you see three squares. If you see one or two squares, start over!

When you clearly see three squares, hold the page still, and the hidden image will magically appear. Once you perceive the hidden image and depth, you can look around the entire 3D image. The longer you look, the clearer the illusion becomes. The farther away you hold the page, the deeper it becomes. Good Luck!

I can see the 3 squares just fine. But even after clicking on the link to see what those bastards say is hidden within so that I'd have something to shoot for, all I see are color stylings of someone suffering from a severe acid flashback.

I know a few others who, like me, think this is like a modern day version of Gaslight. For the record, we're onto you. Quit screwing with us (me) before I take a 2x4 to your head.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:42 PM | TrackBack

Timewaster

It took me about 2 seconds to figure this one out. YMMV.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:17 PM | TrackBack

Sympathy and well wishes needed

I dropped by Moxie's place today and saw the awful news that Bentley passed away. What I found revolting is that none of her L.A. friends - translation: self-absorbed dickheads- could rouse themselves from their narcissitic stupors long enough to drive Moxie and Bentley to the vet's office for cremation. I did see via Steve that Aaron drove over to help, because Aaron is good people. So it turns out that not Moxie does have some real friends on whom she can depend.

In news that's related only because it deals with one of my furkids, Diego's long incarceration is about to end. Animal control and I are arguing over the release date: they say 6 months, while the health department says 180 days. Regardless of who wins this debate, Diego will be running free no later than November 21, which means that I'll have something extra special for which to be thankful for this Turkey Day.

Now I almost feel guilty celebrating Diego's release because I know how much Moxie is greaving. But I can't deny the happiness that Diego's upcoming release will give to me. I just wish that there was something I could say or do to help Moxie right now and I also know that there isn't.

Take care, Moxie. Bentley knew that he was loved and that's the best thing that can be said about anyone.


Posted by Physics Geek at 11:14 AM | TrackBack

November 08, 2007

Obviously a Bushbot

This guy has no clue. As penance, he must pray at the shrine of the Goreacle for one month, become a vegetarian and start driving a Prius. Oh, and he has to start every conversation with CHIMPYMCSMIRKYBUSHITLER!!!! IS KILLING US ALL FOR OOOIIIILLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!. In fact, if you can't actually see the italics when he froths, you'll know that he's faking it.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:49 PM | TrackBack

November 07, 2007

Some common sense on a touchy subject

Despite the caterwauling from the usual suspects (you don't seriously expect me to link to those douchebags, do you?), I've never favored torture. And though Abu Ghraib provided those yammering nincompoops proof that "the US is just as bad as Saddam, mayb even worse!"™, it remains an isolated incident. Since the military resembles our country in a microcosm, it's no surprise that the occasional evil person manages to slime their way into the armed forces. The fact that no such event has occurred since would lead you to believe that this was, in fact, the reprehensible actions of some people who would probably be pulling the wings off of flies if they hadn't joined the military first. Hopefully, being in the service will give that minority what they sorely lack: a moral center.

Anyway, onto the topic at hand. I've watched with interest for several years the dizzying arguments about people being pro or anti torture. It shouldn't need saying, but I'm willing to bet that almost everyone opposes torture almost all of the time. Where we run into disagreement is over the definition of what constitutes torture. Many people who I respect think that waterboarding is torture; end of story. Others who I respect feel differently. That discussion is worth having. What I find irresponsible and hypocritical are those who refuse to actually define what constitutes torture. More specifically, our beloved elected officials decline to pass into law exactly which acts should be legally considered torture. Why do they fail to act? Because taking a stand for or against a particular action will set them up for abuse as either (a) too eager to pull off fingernails or (b) more than willing to give warm oil massages to terrorists. Instead, failing to put themselves on record for/against a particular activity allows our leaders in DC to pompously preen, strut and moralize at length about anything and everything. So it's not about defining torture. Instead, it's about seizing the political low ground. And to those people I have something to say: fuck you. You think that something is torture? Fine, pass a law against it, as well as any other actions that horrify you. Then enforce those laws. Otherwise, have a Coke and a smile and STFU.

Stay with me, I'm actually going somewhere with this rambling post. J. R. Dunn wrote an article about how many have been "defining torture down". He makes many valid points which, of course, will continue to be ignored. Either that or shrieking ninnies will claim that he's an Evil BushBot. Regardless, here's an excerpt:

"Torture" is one of many current topics of significance that have been abandoned to the left. Leftist commentators have been allowed to set the terms, make the definitions, and generally run the argument without much in the way of serious opposition or debate. ... "Torture" is probably the most egregious of these cases. That's the explanation for the sneer quotes. Because, quite simply, in much of the debate over "torture", we're not talking about actual torture at all. We're talking about rough treatment, harshness, or coercion.

The American left has defined these upward until they mean the same thing as torture, all as a part of their efforts to undermine the War on Terror in general. The core of this stance is the assertion that a slap on the head, several days without sleep, or hearing Rage Against the Machine played at full volume is fully the equivalent of torture in the classic sense. (Well... maybe we should reconsider that last....)

Of course, it's no such thing. Torture is easily defined as physical assault carried out over a prolonged period against a victim under complete control and holding the possibility of permanent physical or psychic damage.
...
The left has succeeded, through a relentless media campaign (is there any other kind?) in obscuring this distinction. According to the latest criteria, torture is anything unpleasant that occurs to a prisoner while in American custody.
...
The most recent uproar concerns waterboarding, a practice that has become a media favorite because it is the only activity approaching torture known to have been carried out under official auspices. Waterboarding has played a large part in Judge Michael Mukasey's bid to become attorney general when he refused to define it as "torture". A number of Democrats, including the party's entire presidential slate, have declined to support Mukasey for this reason.

Waterboarding may be brutal, it may be nasty, it may even be uncalled for. But it's not torture. It does not inflict physical pain or damage. It does not destroy the victim. Its sole purpose is to create a sense of terror by arousing deep instinctive reactions against drowning, instincts shared not only by almost all mammals, but almost all vertebrates who don't happen to be fish. It is effective, it is quick, it leaves no scars and should revolt no one's conscience.

There's plenty more to read. In fact, I suggest that you get busy right now.

Thanks to Mike for the link.

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:30 PM | TrackBack

November 05, 2007

Updating my OS

What follows is as brief a description as I can make of my experience trying to install Ubuntu/Kubuntu on an older machine at home using Wubi.
=======================================

I have a 1.8 Ghz machine with 512 Mb RAM at home. Currently, Windows XP is the operating system of choice. I want to upgrade the OS to some version of Linux without losing any of my old data or applications. Pretty much all distros out there help you partition the hard drive while installing the OS, but I've had issues in the past with that little thing, which is why I haven't gone ahead and done it before. Then I heard about Wubi. It uses a loop-back installer to patch the ISO file on the fly as it installs, creating a file-based installation on your existing partition, without having to resize/recreate any new partitions. It sounded good, so off I went.

I downloaded the current 7.04 installer, which installs Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Edubuntu version 7.04 onto your computer. Since I prefer the KDE interface, I selected "Kubuntu" from OS choices, 10 Gb of hard disc space and then clicked go. I watched the installer download the appropriate ISO, install the system and the ask me to reboot the system, which I did. Erk. Turns out that I get a bunch of text streaming up the screen before it all stops on a "Segmentation Error" problem. Huh. Anyway, I rebooted into XP and uninstalled Wubi et al.

On to the Ubuntu forums for research. It turns out that problem is not uncommon. Someone suggested going to the alpha release for version 7.10 of Ubuntu. He mentioned that it would be a bumpy ride, but I figured what the heck. 7.04 wasn't working at all. I restarted the process, watched the pretty little progress bar move to completion and then rebooted. Kubuntu started just fine. Yippee! Now to download some software.

Uh oh. I couldn't get the wireless to connect. I saw my wireless network in KNetworkmanager and entered my shared key, but it kept failing around the 57% complete mark. So back to the forums for help.

As it happens, lots of people were grousing about how the network manager essentially broke in the move from Ubuntu 6.x to 7.x. There were lots of suggestions: install Wicd or Wlassistant and uninstall KNetworkmanager, or manual configuration. I tried them all, starting with the manual configuration, which succeeded exactly as well as KNetworkmanager had succeeded. Next, I downloaded Wicd on my wife's computer, loaded it onto a thumb drive and attempted to install it by right-clicking and selecting "Install using Aptitude blah blah blah", whereupon I received the message that there were 6 Python packages missing. I downloaded those packages and attempted to install them, at which point I was informed that a piece of software actually running on my distro didn't exist. I tried upgrading it to the beta release, but the Python packages still refused to acknowledge its existence. So I uninstalled Kubuntu.

Finally, I downloaded an even more current version of the alpha-alpha release of Wubi and tried one final time. Not surprisingly, it crapped out. Again.

I'm going to try the installer on my laptop. Although the theory of use is great, the execution still needs work.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A little geeky humor

Kin Calvin helpfully translates this French satire article, although like many such translations, it ends up sounding, at times, like Jim Treacher's former alter-ego, Puch (or however it was spelled). In any event, it's worth excerpting:

If you want to be a hacker, you will have to use Linux. Here are 2 solutions :

– You are a capitalistic bourgeois and you buy it $150 at Fry’s.
– You are an asshole, and then you download it on the net.

Of course you belong to the second category, so you have to use your FTP client and wait a few hours while your are downloading a Slack or a Debian. Try not to use Mandriva, this is for the public. You must not forget that you are an uNdERgrOuNd guy now, it’s normal, you’re a Hacker.

O.K, now you have got Linux, you can forget it. You do not need to lose your time learning how this new Operating System works and that you will never use because Xwing vs Tie Fighter doesn’t run on it. The best way is to delete lilo, like that you will sure to boot on Windows Vista. This elegant solution is practiced by many guys like you. The easiest way is to invoke fdisk /mbr in a DOS session, it will delete lilo which was installed on your MBR’s hard drive. Good, you do not need to care about Linux anymore.
...
The $1 hacking community

When people are dangerous like you, they must meet with other crooks to jeopardize the State’s security. For this, there is THE thugs’ rendez-vous, called the Meet 2600. Every month, you will go to a MacDo in Paris, place of Italy, and there you will meet very important guys, who rebooted the entire Internet with a Visual Basic program and have special hair cuts like rebels of the society.

Okay, you will not learn much in this meetings, losers who go over there masturbate each other thinking “Yeah, we are hAcKeRz, we are ruthless, real men. Oh shit, it is already 6 pm, I have to go home otherwise my mum will kill me.” But you will still feel real thrill thinking that the MacDo is full of cameras and microphones, and that the employees are agents from the DST who are listening to dangerous conversations such as :

- Asshole1 : How much is the Whooper ?
- Asshole2 : Uh, MacDo does Whoopers now ?
- Asshole1 : I thought they always did, no ?

Welcome to the wonderful world of geekery. Be afraid; very afraid.

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:47 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack