Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2007 > Mid-October 2007 Edition

Mid-October 2007 Edition


The leaves on the big maple in the back yard are finally changing colors and falling off the tree. But they are not falling all at once, as some of the other trees in town are doing. That means I will be working to rake those leaves to the curb for the street department to sweep up.

The electric company has been in town during the past couple of weeks, doing its usual ham-fisted job trimming the trees from its power lines. This often means cutting the trees themselves down. An across-the-alley neighbor of my folks has had all three of her trees cut down. The folks themselves have lost two young trees and had an older tree trimmed with notable rigor. The once shaded view of the folks back garden is now open to the light and the view of the houses beyond. It does not look as good as it once did. And that is really awful.

Madre offered to plant tulips along the side of the house. But I have other plans for the sides of the house: I want to plant mulch along all but the east side of the house to inhibit the weeds. I also intend to dig up all the bushes, alive or dead, since it is evident that they do not thrive beside the house or shed.

museum days

I was very busy during Museum Days, my home town's annual festival.

This was a better Museum Days than in previous years because it was sunny and pleasant through the whole weekend.

This is my first Museum Days at the new house. I am far from the action downtown and in the park, but there was still more traffic than normal.


I am still having problems with the iMacs, mostly due to the requirement to let people log on to their campus accounts. I want to set up the iMacs so that people share one Apple account (it makes it easier to configure and maintain), yet be able to log on to the campus network to print and access their storage accounts. I have an idea on how to do this, but I need first to test it and then to have my bosses approve it.

Five MacBooks have come in. Just as inventory numbers have been assigned and laptop bags sought for them, I find I have a licensing problem with one of the more important programs. That means that I have to hold them until the licensing is resolved before releasing the iMacs for circulated.

The institutional repository, that I have been working on for the past two weeks, is now in its second testing phase. The new field, that I proposed for the repository to distinguish faculty and administrator and student, needs to be integrated at the installation phase in order for it to work properly. Ideas on this have been given to me, but I have not yet looked at them.

I will be going to Indianapolis this week for an ArcGIS server seminar with my boss and someone from the Map Room. In fact, the whole of next week will be very busy, as I will also be taking two half-hour first aid classes.


This is the name for the new experimental computer that I am putting together this month. The computer consists of a new pico-ITX motherboard, a full computer that is only 100 × 72 millimeters. When I add a 2½-inch hard drive and a pico-PSU power supply, I have a computer that works like my home box, yet can fit in a case that is the size of a couple of cans of Spam™.

The assembly and testing of my new computer was a bit rocky. I bought a case that I thought would be suitable for the parts, only to find that there was hardly any room for them. I was forced for the moment to buy a cheap normal-sized computer case to test the parts. Then came the fun of installing the board and disk drive in the box: the cables for the ports kept slipping off because I had to hang the board off the case's hard disk enclosure like a signboard in order to keep from damaging the memory module. Then I found that my monitor was not picking up anything from the digital video port, so I bought a video extension cord for the board's VGA port.

I will spare you the exertions of getting Fedora on the hard disk, save that turning on the USB controllers on the board helps a great deal in making the board detect the external DVD drive. My only major problem is that with Fedora the monitor and the video play tug-of-war. I finally had to switch to the Ubuntu server, which is much easier to install but which uses different folders for the Web server, database server and PHP: But at least it works!

The cheap case is really unacceptable. However, I will have to wait until pico-cases become available later this month to get one. There is only one company right now that claims to sell them; but its stocks of the cases are empty, and the company itself is waiting for new shipments to arrive.

The name janovac comes from the family name of a Ball State history/drama graduate who is currently in the Peace Corps. I chose her name partly because it sounds like Univac (the archetypal big computer) and partly because her majors remind me of Caitlin Clarke as a college student.


I will not go into detail about the struggle to keep the district of the Fairmount Public Library from being consolidated into an all-county library district (which would close the library itself), if such a recommendation ever reaches the state legislature. I already have a page (on my Fairmount site) that explains what is going on. The gist of the page was published as letters in the Marion and Fairmount papers. There is also an article in the Thursday, 18 October 2007 issue of the Marion Chronicle-Tribune about this issue.

Copyright © 2007 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Written on 19 October 2007.