geeky stuff Archives

May 31, 2005

Appley Goodness!

About a week ago, a 15" G4 PowerBook fell into my lap, like manna from heaven. This may be a death knell to me using an actual linux distro.

The PowerBook (G4 1.25 Ghz) is faster than my desktop (P3-800) and Mark's VAIO (P3-430). It also has lots of nifty built-ins like a dvd/cd burner, 802.11, bluetooth. Oh, and it has 1GB of RAM! My desktop can only hold 512MB! And the hard drive is 80GB (I thought the VAIO was nice because it had 30GB!). As you can probably tell, I'm not a bleeding edge hardware kind of gal...

Because I did get news of a manna storm approaching, I asked that if possible the hard drive be split in half with one partition for macOS 10.4 and the other unformatted so I could install gentoo linux. After using this puppy for a week, I'm leaning toward skipping the linux install and just formatting the rest of the drive to use for OS X. He who sent this mac to me will do a Joyous Dance of Triumph when he learns that I'll be using OS X rather than linux. :)

Other than the fumbling around learning a new OS, the only real problem I have is the ergonomics of using a 15" laptop. I'm pretty sure this would be the case with most machines of this form factor. The edge of the case hits my wrists in an uncomfy place for someone with RSI issues. Other than that, I really dig this mac. The backlit keyboard is spiffariffic. And I *love* the smallness of the battery charger (not to mention a laptop with a working battery! The VAIO was pretty much tethered to its clunky charger all the time).

I have to admit that I'm officially swept up in Apple infatuation at this point. The evil plan appears to have worked. :)

UPDATE: OS X and I have now made it through our first quarrel (mounting SMB shares is somewhat broken in 10.4), it turns out we were both at fault (I had configured WINS but was still trying to use the IP of the server) so we're gonna give it another go now. And I've found many support websites that will definitely help in the future. For now, the install of gentoo has been pushed off again (there are some nasty problem bits with it, most notably lack of airport extreme support).

September 21, 2005

Adios, gentoo...

I'm one step closer to getting the Linux install off my PowerBook.

We ordered a hard drive enclosure that does firewire and USB a couple of weeks ago when Mark ordered new RAM for his flailing desktop. Last night I made my first bootable clone on the external drive and then tested it for bootability before installing the batch of updates that contained the recent security update 2005-007 (since it seemed to be giving people fits). So far, so good.

Cloning my OS X partition was the next step in my quest to remove the yaboot prompts that seem to slow startup considerably. Since just about everything I wanted to do with Linux works better under OS X, there is really no point in wasting half the hard drive with an operating system that I'm not gonna use. It was primarily installed in a fit of frustration with the broken SMB stuff in 10.4, which may have been partly my fault in mistaking the IP address of the our home media server (Oops).

I'm really liking all the cool applications that come with the OS on the mac. Like iPhoto. And iTunes (now that I know how to use it to encode mp3s). I'm filling up the Dashboard with nifty things like a Google Maps widget and countdowns for movies like HP4 and Serenity. I'm still using Firefox but now that I know Safari does tabbed browsing, I may give it another shot. Adium is my absolute favorite IM client to date. I wish I could use it on Windows (for work), as its UI customization settings have blown away Gaim.

Congratulations, Jonathan. While I may never be a mac zealot, I'm definitely leaning toward it as my platform of choice and am grateful for the opportunity to add another OS to my geek fu.

October 23, 2005

*sigh* Sucked In Again...

I've been watching Lost every day since Friday after having borrowed the Season 1 dvds from friends.

I'd been able to keep it to 4 episodes (one dvd) per day. Until tonight. I watched the 3rd disc and then was compelled to put in the next one and I ended up watching one more. Part of what keeps me from watching them faster is that I don't like watching it right before going to bed. The credits and music creep me out!

At least I don't have to fly anywhere any time soon...

Unfortunately, I poked around the show's website and ended up finding out that a particular character dies. Now I keep waiting for him to be mortally wounded. No more websites for me, until I catch up to the current season!!! (So no comments referring to anything past the 13th episode in Season 1!)

*sigh* Well, at least I'll get plenty of knitting done.

November 26, 2005

Post-Thanksgiving Wrap-up

We're home!

This year we spent Thanksgiving in Hanford with my family. We drove over Thursday morn to have a late lunch of turkey and all the fixin's with my dad, my brother, and his gf. Dad just bought a house in July so this was actually the first time I'd been inside (I peeked in the windows a few days before his escrow closed). We watched a movie and then I worked on his computer. We stayed with mom that night and had lunch with her, my bro, and his gf on Friday. And then I worked on her computer. It was actually pretty funny. Both my parents wanted me to switch their dial-up setups from AOL to elsewhere and deal with their printers (dad's wasn't printing, mom's was new and needed to be set up). This morning we drove home. I'm so glad I get to sleep in my own bed tonight!

On the way home, we stopped by Best Buy in SLO. There wasn't anything compelling enough to get us out in the cold, pre-dawn hours of Black Friday but we did want to check on a few things that Best Buy had on 2 day sale. I picked up a 512MB USB flash drive for $20 and a Shrek 2 dvd for $6. They were out of the $170 19" LCD monitors that Mark wanted to look at and they couldn't find the $40 UPS even tho the store computer said they had 6 in stock.

While at Best Buy, I fondled the 30GB 5G iPod. Holy crap that thing is small. And spiffarific. They had it playing Lost when we got there. They'd also loaded Pixar's "For the Birds" on it. I asked the sales guy how long their black pod had been on display so I could get a good gauge of how fast the front scratched up. It had been there for 4 weeks and I could see scratches but it really wasn't too bad. I've already got my InvisibleShield for when mine arrives so I should be able to keep it pretty scratch free.

Also, I finished knitting the *last* piece of the Cal throw for my sis-in-law! Woohoo! Now I need to wash the blue pieces to get the excess dye out and then duplicate stitch in the Cal logo and sew it all together. I've been kinda lagging lately because I have been trying to keep it away from the cats but whenever I sit down on the couch either one or both of them want to sit on me.

I broke my moratorium on knitting for myself by starting the yoga mat bag from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. I'm probably close to 3/4 finished with it. I've also started the "Candy Striper Laptop Bag" pattern from the same book. I'm making it with Peruvian Collection Highland Chunky 100% wool from This is my second attempt at a felted project. Hopefully, it will be more successful than the felted slippers I made last year. Anyway, the bag colors are dark wine ("grape heather"), charcoal grey, and a medium blue-grey blend ("mid indigo"). I dropped the 4th color that the pattern calls for and am just gonna use the blue in those stripes. Since I'm using a different yarn than they do in the book, I think I may actually break down and knit a gauge swatch and felt it so I can get a feel for whether or not I need to order more yarn and make the bag thicker. I don't want to carry my laptop in a flimsy bag.

Oh! That reminds me. Mom and I went to Joann's on Friday. I got a bunch of holiday fabric (on sale for 70% off) for gift bags and boxers, some T pins for blocking knitted items, buttons for making Mark's boxers, and a couple zippers for the laptop bag (the pattern calls for a 16" but I might make the bag a bit bigger so I got an 18" as well). At the register, they had coupons. I was able to use the "10% off the entire purchase, including sale items" coupon since we were there between 10am and noon. The line for the cutting table was pretty long but it wasn't too bad since they had 3 people cutting fabric.

So, to sum up... Good family time, good food, good shopping, but glad we're home. And now it feels like Sunday, but it is Saturday and we get a whole other day at home tomorrow! Woohoo!!!

January 10, 2006

Still Not King...

After waiting a week for an email response from our salesguy at Toyota, I called the dealership today. Unfortunately, he's no longer working there. It is a real bummer because we really liked him but not terribly surprising, as we've heard that dealership has a really high turnover rate.

In any case, I got an update on where we are on the Prius waiting list. We are #16 on the list and 6th in line for a package #1 (barebones, cheapest Prius you can get) in Seaside Pearl (blue). I had him go ahead and add the package #3 (adds on the Smart Key System, Rearview Backup Camera, and MP3 + front panel jack on the stereo) to our interest list in case there were fewer people waiting for that.

The person I spoke to is in charge of sending the orders to the factory and seemed to have a pretty good idea of when they expected to get batches of cars. His estimate is that we should have ours by the end of February. That's about 6.5 weeks! Simultaneously really soon and ages away!

February 8, 2006


I don't normally post here during the work day but I'm too excited to wait today.

My Prius has been "allocated" (as in, I'm assigned a particular car and technically no longer on the waiting list)! The sales manager with whom I spoke said that the car is currently "A status", meaning it has been assembled and is off the production line. Next is "F status" (freight), followed by "G status" (ground). The expected arrival at the docks in LA is February 18th and it should be in SLO by February 23rd or 24th. In 7-8 days I should be able to get ahold of the VIN. I will try to remember to ask whether it is going to be a package #1 or #3 at that point. I totally forgot to ask today. Hopefully, I can get it on a weekday while AAA (who are practically next door to Toyota) and my credit union (about a mile down the road from Toyota) are both actually open. I don't know how long the dealer normally needs for prep after the car arrives on the lot but I'll ask on the Prius Chat forums later today.

One last "Woohoo!", now I have to get back to work! :)

February 23, 2006

T minus 2 hours

I got a phone call yesterday. Someone decided not to buy the Blue package #3 Prius that arrived in yesterday's delivery. So today when I get off work at 1pm, I'm going to buy a car! Woot!

It's Here!!!

In our driveway sits a pretty blue Prius.

After I got off work, I picked up Mark and we went down to Toyota, armed with the knowledge of what we wanted and what we didn't and how much it should cost. It turned out we had little to worry about. I already knew that I could get the Platinum Extended Warranty (6yr/100,000mi) for $990 through a Prius web forum so I told them we weren't interested in getting it today (they wanted $1995 for it!!!) but might do it later (you can add it anytime during the standard 3yr/36,000mi warranty). They didn't pimp the paint/fabric protectant packages. I asked about a pet net but they don't make one for the Prius specifically.

I noticed that our salesguy (who we met today for the first time, since our original guy left in December--pity that, we really liked him a lot) rarely made eye contact with me and was basically talking to Mark the whole time. Whatever. The finance guy was pretty even with the eye contact but even mentioned that he kept thinking the car was for Mark. That partly might have been because Mark was sitting on the left side and that is the side of the purchase agreement where the primary buyer signs. The salesguy introduced us to the person at the parts counter and someone in the service department and gave us their business cards. I got a quick tour of the car and was set loose.

First stop was AAA. Which turns out to be next door to the dealership. :) I had already forgotten how to use the Smart Key when I arrived at AAA so I think I left the car unlocked while I was inside. After AAA, I headed a mile down the road to my credit union where we were getting our car loan. It was pretty easy since we were pre-approved. Normally they mail the check to the dealer but since we only have 5 days to pay before Toyota's financing would kick in (at 6.9% rather than the credit union's 5%), I convinced her to let me drop it off at Toyota. She gave me an envelope for Toyota and two insulated commuter mugs with the credit union's logo and I was on my way.

When I got back to the car, I tried to start it and couldn't. I tried furiously for another 2-3 times and then was flustered enough that I almost called the salesguy thinking my car was dead. Instead, I took a deep breath, turned everything off, hit the manual cutoff switch to disable the Smart Key, put the key in, and grabbed the pad of valet cards from the glove box. I followed the instructions, it started right up, and I dropped the check at Toyota and drove home.

Here are the pics
that I took when I got home. I'm sure I'll have more to say in the coming days. :)

This One Deserved Its Own Post

The Prius is touted as one of the more technologically advanced cars on the market but it still gets the disco-era manual design.

June 13, 2006

October!?!?!? Curse you SciFi!

I just polished off season 2 of Battlestar Gallactica. Damn.

When I started watching the mini/pilot, I was pretty skeptical about making it through the rest of the series. I mean, apocalypse is just so *bleak* and to get all the info out there character development was somewhat minimal so I didn't really give a rat's ass about anybody.

Luckily, Season 1 of BSG, despite its bleakness, was way better than Season 1 of SG-1 (which I somehow managed to trudge through). I'm curious where they're going with Season 3 (tho not so curious as to go look up the rumors & such) as that Season 2 finale was a doozy.

Oh well, at least SG-1 & Atlantis start back up in about a month. That ought to hold me for a while.

September 19, 2007

Ye come seeking adventure and salty old pirates, aye?

Sure you've come to the proper place. But keep a weather eye open mates, and hold on tight. With both hands, if you please. Thar be squalls ahead, and Davy Jones waiting for them that don't obey.

Fear my spatula, ARRRR!

We pillage, plunder, we rifle and loot,
drink up me 'arties, Yo Ho,

We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot,
drink up me 'arties, Yo Ho,

We extort and pilfer, we filch and sack,
drink up, me 'arties, Yo Ho,

Maraud and embezzle and even highjack,
drink up me 'arties, Yo Ho,

Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life for Me.

We kindle and char and inflame and ignite,
drink up me 'arties, Yo Ho,

We burn up the city we're really a fright,
drink up me 'arties, Yo Ho,

We're rascals and scoundrels, we're villains and knaves,
drink up me 'arites, Yo Ho,

We're devils and blacksheep, we're really bad eggs,
drink up me 'arites, Yo Ho,

We're beggars and blighters and ne'er do well cads,
drink up me 'arties, Yo Ho,

Aye, but we're loved by our mommies 'n dads,
drink up me 'arties, Yo Ho,
Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life For Me.

June 2, 2009

Maker Faire 2009

On Saturday we went to Maker Faire at the San Mateo Expo Center (aka fairground). We got there really early to be able to park on-site in case of a toddler meltdown and our spot in line was right next to this:

Zoe wants a new Wagon

We were also interviewed by a camera crew who said they were from a show called "Extreme Conventions" on the Travel channel. It will be interesting to see if we're actually on the show!

Right inside the big building full of kid stuff & craft demos we ran into my BFF.

Favorite. Robot. Ever.

Shortly after we found a table sponsored by Crayola. They had all kinds of cool art supplies but Zoe was only interested in one thing.

Yes, mama, I have scissors

While she was busy cutting her paper, I kinneared Cookie A after she arrived for her sock knitting demo. Then I learned how to needlefelt!

Kinneared Cookie A @ Maker Faire

I was still stabbing away at my fledgling needle felted flower when Cookie started her sock knitting demo but when I finished I took a pic at the demo, where I stood in the back and tried to look like a friendly face rather than a scary stalker or someone who was completely baffled by a demo that only had 30mins to teach knitting a sock. I felt rather silly for hanging around afterward without having a copy of her book to get signed (I did want to look at her sample socks more closely). The funny part was that we both had the feeling that we had met somewhere before.

Cookie A's Sock Demo

While I was at the Craft area, Mark & Zoe went to a different section. Can you guess which one? Here's a hint:

Lego City

After getting lunch and squeezing through the Baazar Bizarre (where I picked up a couple lovely skeins of Wool Candy sock yarn) we went to the Main Stage and settled in to wait for Adam Savage's talk. We were in the back row in case Zoe went ballistic (it was way past nap time).

Adam Savage's talk

I had a good time but man it is exhausting to wrangle a toddler in those kind of crowds. I had to a two day ticket and decided that I wasn't going back Sunday so we gave it to Mark's sis who took her boys. I'm sure we'll be headed back next year.

July 29, 2009

Testing From iPhone Land

In preparation for heading out on my Sock Summit adventure next week I thought I would see if it was really feasible to blog from Safari on the iPhone. The way has been perilous thus far as I lost the first version of this post. :(

A pic of my new spinning wheel will show up below if I am lucky.

My wheel!

ETA: Well that was tricky and kind of a pain but should be minimally workable.

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