July 2008 Archives

Installed Linux this weekend » Ubuntu 8.04 (released April 2008). Woohoo! I'm stoked.

Installation couldn't have been easier. After creating a 20-gig Ext3 partition on my new hard drive (see previous entry), I answered a few simple questions, stated my time zone and » Voila!

Ubunto Hardy Heron 8.04But then I booted up and couldn't connect to the internet. Ugh. Learned since that 'Wireless' is one of Ubuntu's biggest weak-spots.

Gotta be the worst place for a weakspot. Cuz everybody is wireless these days. And without internet, your PC is pretty-much worthless.

I was tempted to give up. Tried many networking configs. Nothing worked.

"Shouldn't be this difficult," I murmured, getting frustrated. (Ain't like I've never configured a network connection before. Only so many variables.)

I even carried my laptop to the coffee shop, where they have free internet, with NO password (WEP/WPA), and I still couldn't connect. So it wasn't an encryption problem (like I thought).

I'm back. With 2-gigs of memory + 160-gigs storage. Very impressive. Didn't know this krappy ol' laptop could still sing. Very satisfying upgrade. It's a new day in Radland.

Kinda sore at myself for not doing this sooner. From a seat-of-the-pants perspective, it feels roughly twice as fast. I mean, everything now takes half as long, and some thing are simply » 'whoa' quick.

Desktop icons rebuilding blows me away. And launching Outlook Express (where I have 2 years worth of emails) .. goes wicked-fast now.

Upgraded RAM first. Couldn't have been simpler. Almost too perfect .. if ya know what I mean. Like maybe I used up all my techno-luck on that one upgrade.

Ordered more memory/RAM today .. for my laptop. Currently have installed 512-MB (2x256 SODIMMs), but this thing is painfully slow. (Wait, yawn, then wait some more.)

Can't believe it was so cheap » $21 for a full gig. I bought two sticks. So I'll soon be upgrading .. to 2 full gigs (which is the max my laptop can handle). Woohoo!

I read somewhere the bottom fell out of the memory market, due to severe oversupply. So now would be a good time to stock up on the max your system can handle. Plus, RAM upgrades are stupid-easy. (Pop-out old, pop-in new.)

Whilst in the upgrade-mood, I also ordered a new hard drive. Currently have a 60-gigger installed (chock-full o' krap).

Upgraded the Rad Community forums to YaBB 2.2.3, which was released a few days ago.

I'm getting good at working our new VPS from the Linux command line, which makes this type of upgrade much easier.

[I use PuTTY launched from WinSCP, which passes login info. These commands are long as your arm, involving files six or seven directories deep. One type-o and it won't work.]

This was the first time I didn't have to ask the techs at WiredTree (our web hosting provider) any questions. Did it all by myself.

Took the Bug Back -- Despite

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Took the Bug back to his mom this morning. He woke with a fever (102). No runny nose, no sneezing, no cough. Just a fever. Normally I'd keep him until later this afternoon.


The weird thing is .. we spent the day in court yesterday (uh, was not pretty) .. where I am doing everything I can to stay in his life.

I resist parenting stereotypes, but I truly believe moms are better at caring for sick children.

I've heard friends say things like, "The only time I ever felt love from my mother was when I was sick." (Sad, no?)

Dads, I feel, are better at things like .. taking kids to Disneyland, fishing, rock-climbing, fireworks, and bouncing on trampolines (fun stuff). So I am feeling conflicted. Plus, I always hate to see him sick.

Upgraded my copy of Movable Type blogging software today (I use » Movable Type Open Source) .. to » v4.12, released last month.

Upgraded Ye Olde Rad Blog to Movable Type Open Source v4.12

Despite using Movable Type since 2003 (beginning with v2.63), this is the first time I've upgraded.

Previous "upgrades" were actually new installations, such as MT v3.35 (in April 2007) and v4.1 (last January), while leaving the old installations of Ye Olde Rad Blog untouched.

Upgrades make me nervous, cuz there's always a chance something might go wrong, and cause me to LOSE all the entries. (MTOS currently hosts ~50 entries.)

Now, with the new VPS, upgrades are easier, cuz I can use the Linux command line, which lets me overwrite old files with a single command. Very powerful .. but dangerous .. if I make a mistake (such as a simple type-o).

Learning Photoshop Mojo

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Learning Photoshop. Been meaning to for a long time. I've tinkered for years, but now I'm learning the really cool (powerful, creative) stuff.

Adobe Photoshop CS3

At one time, Photoshop was "the killer app" » a reason in itself to buy a computer (Mac). And the more I learn, the easier it is to see why. (It lets you do way-cool things .. with graphics and photos.)

Over the years Photoshop has grown complex, somewhat beastly, difficult to tame. These days, learning to wield its magic takes a commitment. (As I'm finding.)

I had really wanted to wade into some server-side scripting and database management, but that requires even more of a commitment. Been too distracted for that. (Tho it's still on my list.)

Now however, I'm glad I went the Photoshop route. Everybody I've told says, "Yeah, I wanna learn Photoshop, too." (And once someone knows it, they'll always know it.)

Met a girl at the coffee shop this weekend, who said (after noticing my neck was stiff), "I want to give you an adjustment," .. which told me she did some type of bodywork.

Rad with a stiff neck

Didn't have my reading glasses handy, so I slipped her card into my pocket and said I'd call to schedule an appointment.

Yesterday, when I saw the word Chiropractor, I got nervous, cuz previous therapy sessions have been painful. So the idea of someone torquing my neck seemed less than appealing.

On the phone, she assured me no pain would be involved, while emphasizing she was "excellent" at what she did.

"I'm an artist," she said, raising my eyebrows .. cuz you have to be good to even use the word. (Art comes only after one first masters the technology.)

I find confidence appealing, cuz it usually portends competence. Tho still hesitant, I went anyway. (This morning.)

Well, she *is* very good. (Definitely has the magic.) Indeed, no pain was involved, despite her jumping up and down on my neck .. (and kicking me in the head a few times).

Never seen the Bug run like he ran to the fireworks last night. "Wait up!" I kept calling. "He seems eager," a guy commented as I trotted by.

Fireworks 2008 | Newport Dunes as viewed from Castaways Park, Newport Beach, California

We arrived 30 minutes early, claiming a prime viewing-spot .. on the bluffs above Newport Back bay (sandwiched between two groups of well-tanned girls). Every few minutes for the next 30, he asked, "Are the fireworks gonna start now?"

More boats moved further into the bay as the sky grew dark. So I killed time by teaching him (from my Navy-days) how the port light is red (like the wine), and starboard green.

When the fireworks finally began, it was pretty cool. Park was packed. We had a soft blanket to sit on and could see reflections on the Bay below. I couldn't be happier.

And all was heaven .. for 5 minutes. Then some loud booms echoed across the bay, and he turned his head into my chest.

The fourth is my favorite holiday. Don't know another living soul who prefers it over all others.

Balboa Pier, Newport Beach, California

Maybe cuz it's the only holiday celebrated outdoors at night. No matter where you might be, summer nights are likely cotton-candy sweet.

Or perhaps, it's the fireworks .. or maybe, the thing we're really celebrating (» freedom, baby!) .. that does it for me.

Had the Bug last night. Braved the crowds and drove down to the Balboa pier .. where we watched the sun set while sharing a root beer float (from Ruby's). He was clearly more interested however, in watching folks fish, and asking to peek in their catch-buckets.

Changed the font used for headings on the home page .. to Trebuchet MS, known for its modern, artsy style. (You like?) Before this, I was using Courier New, which seemed more computer techie-ish (which I also like).

Genghis KhanThis Font is Trebuchet MS

A better example of black text on white background can be found » HERE (VPS guide).

This Font is Courier New

Courier New is a mono-spaced font, which tends to consume more space (per character), forcing me to use shorter headings/titles (.. tho not necessarily a bad thing).

Regarding the text used on the home page, I still use Verdana, which can't be beat (I feel) for pure readability. Many times, I've tried to replace Verdana, but could never find another screen-font as easy to read.

Ye Olde Rad Blog II uses Trebuchet MS as its normal-text font. Not as readable, if you ask me.

On a more personal note, I am in the middle of "stuff." (Which is why I'm lagging on entries.) The kind of stuff you find wading thru a swamp infested with hungry crocodiles. (A particularly toothy one is chewing on my butt right now. Munch-munch.)

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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