Archive for July, 2007

Want to learn?

Monday, July 16th, 2007

If so, you may find this site useful. I own several of the videos they offer (in the music instruction and luthierie categories), but there are many more that I’d be interested in seeing.

Keep up with the neighbors

Monday, July 16th, 2007

An aggregator for blogs that concentrate on Colorado issues.

A little more ambitious than most

Monday, July 16th, 2007

An open-source fusion reactor.

Should we call this Type 2 CRS?

Monday, July 16th, 2007

We’ve raised a generation who can’t remember without assistance.

I’ve long been interested in memory improvement, and have acquired a number of books on memory improvement techniques. My favorite so far is this one. Still, I find it hard to remember something unless I have a specific need to do so (or enough interest to substitute for a need). I guess the point is that fewer people, particularly young ones, feel the need to remember anything their cellphone can remember for them.

Then again, isn’t that really the whole point behind organizers and planners?

Via Slashdot.

A distributed non-computing effort

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Identify galaxies by type.

Buy 2, get 1 free

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

Breakfast this morning

Medical science advances once again

Monday, July 9th, 2007

Stem cell research that provides results up-front.

Arrogant SOBs

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Jane Galt has been having trouble with Sony VAIO customer service. I’ll admit that they make some interesting products, but I’ve been staying away from purchasing any of them since they hacked their customers’ computers.

My own customer support nightmare involved a sound card/CD drive combo that I purchased as an add-in to my desktop PC, back when it was a Windows 3.1 486/33 box. One morning, the CD drive spontaneously ejected the tray. Putting the tray back into the tracks would cause it to retract fully, then to be spit out again. It was obviously a hardware problem, most likely a limit switch or photosensor.

By that time, however, I’d installed a beta version of Windows 95 on the thing. Every time I called, I was told that I had to wipe my hard drive and reinstall Windows 3.1 before they would help me. It was obvious that they had a script, and weren’t allowed to deviate from it. Finally, I disconnected the hard drive, installed their driver software on a floppy, and booted from it. After going through the front-line support person and script, I got to a supervisor and explained the situation. He said, “We can work with that.” I thought, “Finally!” His next words, though were that I needed to reattach my hard drive and put Windows 3.1 on it, because they not only didn’t support Windows 95, but had no plans to support it.

I’d had it with them by then, and asked to whom I’d send a complaint. He said that I’d have to send it to him. I couldn’t believe that nobody else got to see complaints about him, and told him so before I hung up. I then looked up the company’s info in Dunn & Bradstreet, and sent a letter addressed to the company’s president, explaining the situation, and my shock that complaints about support personnel would be handled by those same people.

The letter was returned – moved, forwarding order expired.

I bought a different CD drive, and stayed with Windows 95. I kept the returned letter for several years, for various reasons. I may still have it, tucked away in a box somewhere, but I’m not certain.


Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Tonight is the next Rocky Mountain Blogger’s Bash. I’ll be there (barring something unforeseen in the next few hours), as will my daughter. She has to leave early, though, because she’s involved with a local Rocky Horror production.

Celebrating the Dean

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Today marks the centennial of Robert Heinlein‘s birth. To mark the occasion, there is a convention in Kansas City this weekend. I’m sorry I’m missing it, but I’m seldom able to attend out-of-town conventions these days.

He’s one of my favorite SF authors, and, though I never met him, we have something in common – besides being graduates of the U. S. Naval Academy (although he predated me by a number of years), we both fenced for Navy. In Starship Troopers, one of the characters shares the last name of Andre Deladrier, who was my coach at Navy.

In his office in the fencing loft, Coach Deladrier kept a rusty antique rapier, which he once told me had belonged to his incarnation in an earlier life. I can’t say I believe in reincarnation, but I think I’d like to know about my earlier lives, if there were any. If there is reincarnation, though, I’m not certain my future incarnations would care to know about this life.