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Gazing into the Abyss: Michael Rawdon's Journal


Links du jour:

Well, that didn't take long: Sony Music's heralded CD copy-protection scheme was cracked using a simple felt-tip marker. I find the actions of the record industry in the digital music wars to be heinous in the extreme, so I'm happy to laugh at the Sony Music bozos and their silly little failure. Look, aren't they adorable!
  View all 2002 links


Recently Read: Currently Reading: Next Up:
  1. George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
  2. Analog, June 2002 issue
  3. James Morrow, Only Begotten Daughter
  4. Vernor Vinge et. al., True Names and the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier
  5. Julian May, Jack the Bodiless
  6. A. K. Dewdney, The Planiverse
  7. Neil Gaiman, American Gods
  8. Joseph J. Ellis, Founding Brothers
  9. Guy Gavriel Kay, Tigana
  10. Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life

No Access

I just tried dialing up to the Internet from home, and I can't get on. Oh, I can connect to the modem at my ISP just fine, but I can't connect to any Web sites or to my Spies account. I figure it must be a domain name server problem at my ISP, though I can't really tell from here. It's rather mysterious.

Raw Bandwidth (a.k.a. TSoft) is actually a pretty reliable ISP. I've had maybe one problem of this nature per year. In fact, I've phoned their support line so rarely that I actually put a note on my printed out support info in my files that their support number still worked last June, which I guess was the last time I called them. I left them a message tonight, but I figure I won't hear from them until tomorrow. Kind of frustrating, but what can you do?

I've generally had good luck with small ISPs. I don't need much support - just the info to connect to their servers, and occasional support when things go wrong at their end. I'm an atypical user, which has turned out to be a good thing for me.

Someday I'll actually get DSL. (I thought about cable-modem, but the deciding factor is that my study doesn't have a cable jack, but it does have a phone jack. So DSL is probably a better choice for me. But mostly I've just been too lazy and/or busy since I moved in to get it.)


I promised readers of my notify list an update on the rest of the weekend.

Well, it started raining shortly after we woke up on Sunday, and rained off and on through last night. Kind of unusual for the Bay Area, rain in May. Debbi and I splurged on Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast, and sat downstairs reading the newspaper. Eventually we motivated ourselves to head back to the crafts fair on Castro Street where Debbi did indeed buy the chest she'd been eyeing, and I bought the nightstand for my study. We're both happy with our purchases - I'm especially happy to have my radio in my study in a spot where I get good reception. Jazz music just doesn't mix well with FM static.

Did I mention that I went bicycling last Tuesday and Thursday? I made some runs up through Shoreline Park in the morning, which is quite a nice experience, bicycling by the bay in the morning sun. It's a little nippy out, though. And quiet: The only people out in the park are young people jogging, and old people on their morning walks. And the construction crew building a model boat next to the lake.

There are lots of birds populating the wetlands, too. I wanted to bike out the fingers of land jutting into the bay, but it turns out they're not paved, so I'll have to wait for a day when I can walk them.

I bring this up because I spent the afternoon nagging Debbi to go for a walk, which was kind of unfair since her foot was still hurting and she wasn't up for it. I was probably a little over-eager. It's not like the park is going anywhere. I eventually gave up nagging her and spent most of the afternoon either working in the garden or reading. (Debbi fell asleep several times, despite the Giants game being on.)

I made us hamburgers for dinner, and we never did get around to watching another episode of 24.


Did I mention that Debbi bought a new iMac through me, using my employee discount? She's been wanting one since we announced them, and she finally decided she could afford one. It shipped quite quickly (in case you've been wanting one and have heard of long delays in shipping time), so most of the wait was for UPS to deliver it. It arrived last Wednesday and I went up to help her configure it.

Well, of course, it's a Mac, so when I got there she had it up and running in Mac OS X already. And the program which helps guide you through the process of signing up for an Earthlink account was quite impressive, with spoken instructions and well-designed screens. Heck, the only thing I really helped her with was explaining the Classic environment of Mac OS X to her, and helping her install her Handspring synchronization software (which runs in Classic). Other than that, even I (as an Apple employee) was impressed with how easy it was for her to set up her new computer.

She's very excited about it.


Update the next day: It looks like the problem was with my machine, which apparently needed to be rebooted. I should have thought of it before, but my Mac so rarely needs to be rebooted... anyway, all seems to be back to normal!

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