Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2002 > Mid-September 2002 Edition

Mid-September 2002 Edition

Another weekend has past, and I wished it would have felt a little more autumn-like instead of wet and warm like a used washcloth. Apart from the two events (cat misbehavior and WinXP reinstallation), the weekend was an uneventful bout of cleaning and shopping.

The cleaning got most of the cruft out of the laundry room, where hugh bags of empty detergent bottles and boxes of Bounce™ made their way to the trash pickup spot. I also swept the bedroom—again!

The shopping produces, among other things, a Filtrete™ which filters out of the furnace intake air not only dust but pollen, mold and cat hair. To make doubly sure it does its job I cleaned out the wide shaft from the grate to the furnace itself.

I had wanted to buy an air purifier for the bedroom, but the kind that can clean out the air of a room of that size cost at least $140! I'll, um, think it over.

cat misbehavior

Sunday after lunch I was bringing four large boxes of stuff to the new house. I also have trouble with the beat-up back screen door; and the two cats, Isis and Thyme, were not helping. Evidently the noise I was making spooked Thyme: It was avoiding me like the pox. When I tried to pick Thyme up, it well swacked my right hand with its claws.

I promptly washed and medicated the scratches on my hand, so there should not be any infection. I left Thyme outside overnight; the next morning it was more than happy to come inside, if only to eat.

After all my experiences with Pogo, our late house cat, I would have known better than to pick up a wacko cat without thick gloves. Now I have a badly scratched-up hand to show for my folly. At least Thyme is her old self again.

The cats are still getting used to the indoor environment, especially as I shape it into a larger version of the bedroom of my other home.

moving stuff, phase two

The four boxes I brought contained cables and computer equipment, animé tapes, books, stationary and blank CDs. It will take some time to unload and sort them. I have already found places to hang my four framed CompTIA certificates of certification.

Next on the road to my house are the books on shelves. Then comes the books in boxes, which need serious sorting through.

The folks have laid down a new carpet in the upstairs entryway (the Germans would call it a Flur). They are looking for stuff to throw out. I managed to save magazines and equipment I store just outside my room, but I had to take back a hugh notebook full of code I wrote during my "extended vacation" before my current job. I need to look it all over.

winXP reinstall

Meanwhile, though, I was wiping my Windows computer because WinXP was behaving very badly. Besides, I wanted a clean slate, especially now that the first service pack has been put out.

So, I ran a utility that does a low-level wipe of my hard drive. Given its size, the drive took six hours to wipe. In comparison, the install of WinXP, WinXP service pack 1, the drivers for the video card and monitor, and TextPad took only ninety minutes.

What is good about the service pack is that it lets you turn off certain components that hang about, using up computer resources, even if you never use them yourself. This is Microsoft's token attempt to comply with federal court orders. It will be interesting to see if it will let Mozilla do its job.

The next day I installed the firewall (ZoneAlarm), the file compressor (WinZip) and the programming language (Ruby). The day after that I installed the local web server (Apache) and its scripting language (PHP). Last night I installed VirusScan and spent a couple of hours while the computer downloaded all the updates. (I'm using a modem, remember?)

Opinion: The only real difference between WinXP Home and WinXP Pro is the lack of the IIS web/FTP/mail server in the former. But you don't need IIS (which is a bugfest, anyway); save yourself a hundred bucks and install Apache/PHP on WinXP Home, as I did. You will be much happier.

Copyright © 2003 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated 30 November 2003.