July 31st, 2008

Captain Obvious

"Yeah, but it's a dry heat..."

On Wednesday, the mercury once again zoomed past the 90-degree mark in the metro area with a high of 99 degrees at Denver International Airport. This makes it 18 days in a row of 90 degrees or hotter temperatures. With a high of 99 degrees Wednesday Denver tied the record for the most consecutive days of 90 degree or hotter temperatures at 18. The other two times we have had 90 plus heat for 18 days in a row was in 1901 and 1874.


Now I don't feel quite so bad about having used the A/C several times in the past two weeks.

Gun-toting in Georgia

   I've had handguns for target shooting since I was a kid, but never carried one for self-defense. After a robbery, I applied for a permit so I could carry a gun without breaking the law. And even before the license arrived, I started to carry my gun from my driveway to my front door, which is legal; I was scared the guy would keep his promise and come back for me. As it turned out he was arrested a couple of weeks later, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

When my permit arrived in the mail, I stuck it in my wallet and pretty much forgot about it. I didn't start carrying a weapon. He was in jail and I moved to a less transitional neighborhood. I felt safe again.

I was also afraid of the reaction of strangers. I would hate to be the subject of this 911 call: "Hello, police, I'm at the Publix on North Decatur Road and there's a swarthy bald man here with a gun. He's headed for the Lean Cuisine."


This article is great (downright hilarious in parts) and I highly recommend it. But let me spoil the ending for you: the author eventually concludes that while he certainly could carry a gun everywhere - openly, even - he doesn't want to. I've often said that a society in which everyone felt they had to carry a gun in order to be safe, would be a failed society. So I think this article is a fairly good indicator of a successful society. One where people have the right to do something other people consider questionable... but they don't feel like it.

XP - so far, so good (mostly).

Well, it looks like the transition to XP is going reasonably. I used gparted on an Ubuntu live CD to resize my 98 partition (WIN!) and installed XP on the new 20 gig partition (WIN!) and Firefox 3 (WIN!).

NVIDIA's display driver FAILED miserably upon install1, downgrading my display resolution to 800x600 and 4-bit color(!!). I'm guessing it saw C:\WINDOWS and just assumed that was the right place to install drivers, even though the new XP partition is on E:\. No matter - I nuked it, and the default drivers still allow me to do 1280x1024 quite easily. Scrolling is obnoxiously slow, but everything else is working fine. Just need to install putty and I'll be all set.

For those wondering, XP is miles better than 98SE. Even on my limited hardware, it boots faster than 98SE did. And even when the display driver puked all over itself, it didn't crash and burn horribly like 98SE did in the same situation. (I renamed C:\WINDOWS to C:\OLD-WINDOWS so maybe the next the the miserable lamer driver's installer runs, it will correctly use %SYSTEM% as the installation directory, instead of blindly installing to C:\WINDOWS. Ha! Yeah, suuurre it will!)

Update: Miserable Lamer Driver was even more lame and miserable than I thought! Turns out that very much the contrary to what they claim, the latest NVIDIA drivers do not support the FX 5950 Ultra! I downloaded an older Forceware 95 driver, v96.02 and it works fine for me, so I'm sticking with it.

1 And will hereafter be referred to as "miserable lamer driver".