Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2006 > Mid-January 2006 Edition

Mid-January 2006 Edition


For the first half of the year the weather seemed so nice. It's not so nice now! First the rain, then the sleet, and finally the snow.

computer regeneration

I had thought at first of buying a whole new computer when the warranty on my current one expires in March. But the miser in me got the better, and I decided to replace the hard drive instead. And not just any hard drive: A SATA hard drive.

SATA is the newest way to connect a hard drive to the main board of your computer ... or to an adapter card if your main board is too old (as mine is) to have a SATA port. The hard drive connects with a data cable that is narrower but thicker than a standard ribbon cable. Why SATA? Speed: Data between a SATA drive and a main board is visibly much faster than a regular IDE drive.

I bought a SATA drive kit from Fry's Electronics: hard drive, cable, adapter card, and a external enclosure for my old hard drive. The hardware was a cinch to set up. The Windows was a little tricky because I had to confirm that my USB SuperDisk drive could work as the A: drive that my home box does not have. This is important because Windows needs drivers to SCSI or SATA adapters on the first leg of installation in order to find the hard drive in which it resides.

I am impressed with the speed of my new hard drive, and every application from Firefox to DOOM 3 run much better on the new drive.


As a university employee I got a three-day weekend, the last day of which is King Day. I will not discuss here the irony of a holiday celebrating civil rights that are fading away as the moral capital on which they rest has been eaten away for decades. What I will discuss is my birthday, which just happened to fall on King Day.

I got my birthday dinner on Sunday: jerked chicken, mashed potatoes, spinach, and German chocolate cake with coconut icing. I got clement weather all weekend. I got to stay up on Sunday, but decided to go to bed anyway when I found that IPR had pulled The Sound Experiment, probably for good. (Okay, can IPR at least bring back Hearts of Space?)


My ride runs okay for the most part, but the brakes are starting to feel funny, and the heater is giving off vapor that fogs up the windows. This coming weekend I will have the brakes checked while I get the wheels aligned. I can live with foggy windows, but not with bad brakes.


I was just informed that the article I wrote on the mobile development project and which was submitted by the University Libraries was accepted by the peer review board of the journal of the Library Information Technology Association (LITA). If all goes well the article will appear sometime this spring. It will be the first published work under my name. And what makes it better is that at least one of the board's members were impressed by my writing.

The standardization of the public printing release stations is done. All the release stations and their input/output queues work the same way, and in such a way that all the problems we have had with them seem to have vanished. I had to do one or two tweaks to them, but overall I am satisfied with the work.

That is good, because the printer hardware itself is more heavily used in the libraries than even in the bank's item processing department. The bank's printers are used every so often compared with the public printers in the libraries, which are used all the time throughout a semester.

One printer was so used that its feeder tray broke down, forcing me to swap the printer with a backup. Just as this printer is fixed (by technicians with an outside contractor) then another's feeder tray breaks down. Never a dull moment here, eh?

I managed to get a test iMac to connect to the campus network. I am told by one person that this is good enough for now, for the goal is to monitor the use of the iMacs. But a logged on iMac is no use to a student unless it can let the student print or save files to network storage. I've been working on AppleScript batch files that would map a student's storage folder (iLocker) to the iMac; but, like the printer setups, I had success within my grasp only to see it scurry away.

Copyright © 2006 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Written on 18 January 2006.