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

Mid-October 2006 Edition


The leaves have turned red and yellow and gold on most of the trees: It's a nice Bell curve, with some trees already bare, some still green, but most looking lovely. The goldenrod has blossomed a nice bright yellow during the early fall. There was a point where winter weather threatened to visit a couple of weeks ago. But it turned out to be just a threat: The weather for the most part has been cool and pleasant. This is good for me because it means I can wear sweaters, which I like to do.


The weather has not been good for my car; it has been sounding like a lawn mower for the past few weeks. I would rather it not stay that way when winter approaches, so I will have to visit Sparks, the tune-up folks, to find the source of that noise. And this time I will call early enough to give Sparks time to find a starter for my car.



It has been a very busy month for everyone … including myself, which was one of the reasons why I have slacked off on the Web site.

The new network datajacks in the library are now built and activated. I have hammered out a configuration for the iMacs, so that when I have wired them into the campus network, a user will be able to send print jobs to the public printers, to have their iLocker folder (if they have one) map onto the desktop automatically, and to have a wider variety of fonts for their work.

To make the iMacs and their Mac OS X work with the Win2003-based campus network, I have had to use a proprietary networking package called Dave™, which I learned about from the sysadmin at the VIA II Studio Lab. The library was convinced enough about its efficacy to buy a twenty-five-seat license, which I am still waiting for. The licenses arrived Thursday morning, and the iMac upgrading will begin early Friday.


While waiting for Dave to show up, I have dragged down a large H-P Laserjet printer and a Gateway Profile one-piece computer, which serve as a new public printing station in the first floor lobby for the public workstations on the upper floors. I had everything prepped so that the station will be up and running once all the equipment was wired up. Can you guess what happened when I sent a print job to the printer? Nothing. Nothing at all.

After poking and prodding the printer, the Profile, the wiring, the datajack, the print queues and print server, it came down to simply nothing going through the network to the printer. After an exchange of e-mails between myself and one of the network guys at University Computing Services, it turns out the switch connecting the datajack to the network did not match the IP address assigned to the printer. Once that was fixed, the printer was printing and all's right with, well, me.

mobile project

I did a massive editing job on the mobile Web site, changing the DTD headers on each page from XHTML Basic to XHTML Mobile Profile. There is no real difference between the two (in fact the latter is a superset of the former), but XHTML Mobile Profile is one of three requirements (the others being no frames and the ability to leave out "www" in an address) for inclusion in the .mobi domain, should we decide to do this.

library official

One of the members of the Friends of the Fairmount Public Library was also on the Library Board. But she had to resign to devote more time to being a college student, so I volunteered to take her place for the remainder of a term which will expire in 2008. This resignation was a couple of months ago, but only now was the appointment signed, sent to me for notarizing, and filed.

I am now an official on the Fairmount Public Library Board. The woman I am replacing was the secretary, so (even though I did not really want it) I am also secretary pro tempore for the rest of the year.

The office is going to be harder than a simple membership in the Friends group. The town library is in the first floor of an early 20th-century residence that is seriously showing its age and has very little room even for the basic services the library provides. Even the Halloween Party this year had to be dropped in favor of a simple trick-or-treat giveout because there is no room for all the kids.

For this reason the Library Board has undertaken the first steps towards a new library with more space. The feasibility study is already complete, and a willing donor (who owns what was under recently the town laundromat) already lined up. All we need to do is pay the donor for the main buildings and for their renovation. We also have some idea on how to procure the funding; but we also understand that it will take time to bring about the funding, after which the purchase and construction can proceed.

The actions of the Board are burdened by the bitter memory of the construction project of the local school district a couple of years ago, in which the school board rammed a bond issue down the throats of the unwilling citizens of a declining, aging school district in which Fairmount lies. As a result, while the Board has the right to issue bonds, it can do so only as a last resort.

museum days

The weather was not as bad this year during Fairmount's Museum Days festival as it was last year. The rain was not heavy (except at night), and the sun actually peeked every so often. I did get my elephant ear (or two), but that was about all. I spent at least two hours each of the three days of the festival staffing the tent of the Friends Book Sale. We did very well this year: there was no mobile home hiding up from the general public; we rented a spot on the curb so that people can actually find up; we made thirty dollars more than last year and carried fewer books back to storage because we took the time to cull the donations for a better selection of books.

home boxes

I had to do a reinstallation of Windows on my home box in order to rid myself of an unwanted partition. I replaced that partition with two: one for my in-box Web site, and one for the software (Apache, PHP, MySQL, and Ruby) that operate the site.

In the process I installed a more powerful nVIDIA graphics card. It required more power, but I had thought that the original power supply in my box could handle it. Then I found that DVD movies were choppy when I played them on WinDVD. It did not occur to me after installing WinDVD to turn on the hardware decoding, which would have (and did) stop the choppiness.

Well, it was time to buy a new power supply, anyway: The original put out only 160W.

I will cut the details of my two visits to Fry's Electronics and my sacrifice of a Who-Net meeting to a list of bullet points.

Both our home boxes are working fine.

Copyright © 2006 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Written on 20 October 2006.