Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2002 > The Mid-October 2002 Edition

The Mid-October 2002 Edition

lost dsl weekend

The weather became more comfortable this weekend: well, comfortable for me, as the temperatures have gotten more fall-like.

I came to the folks' house Friday evening to be told that the DSL was down. That evening and over Saturday I worked on my computer and the network boxes. It was in vain. The equipment was OK; it was the DSL itself that was out.

What happened here was that my DSL provider FrontierNet held a grappling match with AOL, ostensibly over e-mail blocking. The struggle knocked out the DSL. It stayed down until Sunday morning.


After Sunday lunch I paid a visit to my freelance editor sister Vickie. I was told that Tak-kun, the new kitten she found in her garage a month or so ago, had grown into a black and white cat. I wanted to see for myself. Yeah, Tak-kun has grown, all right; he's twice the size when I first saw him. Vickie shown me her latest piece of software, which is supposed to screen spam.

I noticed a change in one of the other cats, whom Vickie calls Mitsoo but I call Squeaker. She was thinner, and her spots were faded. It turns out she is eating less because she lost a tooth. It's to be expected, I guess: Squeaker was already a year old when I took care of her for six months while Vickie looked for a new home. And that was over ten years ago.

cat's gift

Speaking of cats, one night I was playing with the ones at home. And I thought, "Some of their toys no doubt when under the couch. Let's see if I can fish them out…". So I got a stick, moved it under the couch, and found several small furry objects. Most were toy mice. One looked strangely realistic. I picked it up by the tail, which felt stiff and bony, and I took a good look at it. Yow! It was real—and it was dead! At once I took it to the utility room and threw it in the trash.

I had thought at first the outdoor cat, Baby, brought it in without my sister's knowledge. But then how could she not have noticed the smell when it rotted?

It turned out that Isis (the aggressive one) brought it in and batted it under the couch. My sister did notice the stench, but was way too busy fixing up the house to find the source. I never noticed because it was dried out by the time I moved in.


In the meantime, the Windows 98 on my flat box was acting very wonky, esp. with the message that the VirusScan DAT (virus definition) files have been tampered with. I decided it was time to dump Windows on that box in favor of the newly-ordered Red Hat Linux 8.0.

I wiped the partition and started the installation. I have found that Red Hat has made the install process a lot easier (or at least a lot more colorful) than with previous versions.

Red Hat does away with Netscape in favor of Mozilla, uses its own GNOME-based visual interface called Bluecurve (which does look spiffy), and comes with its own e-mail client. It insists on using sendmail as a default (and which must go).

I don't know what I was thinking in registering the install before I was really ready. I will see what I can do after the reinstall, after I had time to think about what I want on the flat box. Hopefully I can get away with re-registration.


One of the major problems with Linux (other than the user being their own customer support—the reason Linux has never caught on among the throbbing mass) is a lack of a decent text editor. Your only choices here are the over-simple Notepad-like editors on GNOME and KDE, and the terminal-based monstrosities vi (which I'm good at) and emacs (which IMHO is overripe kitty ditty). There is no happy medium. There is nothing I can use with a visual interface. There is, in brief, no TextPad for Linux.

I have learned that others have made similar observations. They wrote to Helios, the maker of TextPad, asked it to consider a Linux TextPad, just as I have done:

Regardless of the other excellent qualities of Linux, it lacks a decent text editor: it is so far stuck with Notepad-like overly simple editors on the one hand, and annoyingly complex text-based editors like vi and emacs on the other. Besides which, I have used TextPad for years and have gotten* accustomed to using it for all my authoring needs. Is there any chance of a version of TextPad for Linux?
(*yes, an American is writing this.)


It is official: The Internet Society is now the new manager of the .org domain. It will begin its new job at the start of next year. It has promised in the past to allow existing sites to keep .org in their domains.

I am thinking of more dress pants and such, as most of those I wear are starting to wear. It's a good idea to think up my XMas list of goodies now before the state sales tax goes up on December 1st. Hey, the state polits are a bunch of losers: why should I have to pay for their screwups?

I am rebuilding the Caitlin Clarke Page again. The main focus will be navigation reform. The navigator rail on the right side of the main page will vanish, replaced by a smaller navigator bar. The credits, images and miscellaneous pages will go into separate folders, each with its own home page. The site map will still be there; it and some other pages with no real content will sport a no-search META tag.

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