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busy past weekend

This past weekend was one third scrubbing out and recaulking the shower stall; one third getting the pico-ITX setup to work; and one third going to Muncie and watching Resident Evil: Extinction while it was still in the theaters.

shower stall

I can understand why the previous owner did not want to scrub down the shower stall. You are down on your knees with a scrub brush scrubbing away at the mildew, scrapping the blighted caulking, and washing down the glass. Then you have to wait for the stall to dry. Then you are on your knees, pumping fresh caulk along the cracks and corners. Then you are waiting at least a day for the caulk to harden, forced to use the sink to wash yourself in the meantime. But it is all worth it, for I can now shower in a stall that does not look gross.

Really, though, I may have to replace the stall itself one day. But that day is not today, though; and besides, the stall looks really decent now that the walls are clean, the caulk is white, and the glass is clear.


The pico-ITX setup was tricky because there are as yet no cases just for the pico-ITX, and I did not want to order a case for a mini- or nano-ITX only to find it unsuitable for the pico-ITX. I can just as well buy a cheap case at Fry's — and did this past Saturday. I need the case at all because I need a power switch for the motherboard and cases have ready-made ones.

Then comes the fun of installing the motherboard and disk drive in the box. I could not install the board like I could a regular one, because the memory is on the bottom. So I used mouse belts to hang the board from the hard disk enclosure. That, in turn, made it difficult for the port cables to stay connected to the board. Then I found that the digital video does not work with my monitor; so I had to buy a video extension cord at Staples.

When all the hardware was in working order, I installed Fedora 7 with the external DVD drive. It went well at first until Fedora's X windowing system had trouble communicating with the monitor. I had to reinstall Fedora, but for awhile I could not get the board to recognize the external drive. I found that I was right all along to activate all the USB port features on the board. After that the external drive was found at one, and I could reload Fedora again.

Now that I know that I can install Fedora on the system, I have set it aside until I have get a proper case for it.

I have said that there are as yet no cases just for the pico-ITX. That is not quite correct; it is just that they are not available right now.

resident evil

It is rather whack that I should become a fan of a series of movies based on a video game I never played.

Resident Evil (which I never played) and Doom! (which I played often) share the role-playing game roots of their ancestor games Adventure and Zork. However, it seems that Resident Evil is closer to being a role-playing game than an action game. Sure, you have to shoot zombies and monsters. But you have to solve a lot of puzzles, even those as simple as opening a drawer or playing keys on a piano, to gather the means to fight the critters. You do this in Resident Evil much more than you do in Doom!, where all but the more special resources are more readily at hand.

Anyway, the latest of the Resident Evil movies completes the evolution of the protagonist Alice (Milla Jovovitch) from a security goon with gas-induced memory loss working for a ruthless corporation to an army of super-soldiers out to get what is left of that corporation. In the process the human race, in ever expanding circles, is reduced to walking corpses as, by the time of the latest movie, all fresh water and almost all life on Earth is destroyed. All of this is due to an artificial virus created by an Umbrella programmer to save his cute daughter from a life of disability. This T-virus was mishandled as a weapon of war by Umbrella, the corporation that first employed Alice and then used the T-virus to turn her into a living weapon — a weapon that Umbrella is now unconsciously putting to its collective head.

Posted on the Dysmey Blog on 15 November 2007.