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More New Hardware
2007-05-03, 3:51 p.m.

Days 983 & 984

Suffering through the agony of getting a new PC installed in my office. (Feels like theyíre installing it in my orifice. Geeze.)

Some of our products include PCís inside them. They do neat stuff like connect our product to the outside world, communicating between the embedded stuff inside the product and the scary real world on the outside. On occasion, these machines are returned to us. Upgrades, replacements, whatever. Weíve gotten very good at pulling the salvageable parts off of the, PCís included. My own office PC is now 5-ish years old. A smokiní IBM Net Vista with a 1Ghz processor (maybe). By computer standards, itís a dinosaur. A couple of years ago I snagged a customer return beastie that sported a 2.4GHz processor. Used it solely for CPU intensive code compiling crap (CCC). IT sits next to the dinosaur on my orifice table.

Recently, a relatively new(er) 3.x GHz box became available. All I had to do was get the corporate S/W package installed, plus get all the other S/W tools an EE like me finds necessary to do my job. You know, CAD packages, design software, FPGA CCC stuff, schematic capture & PCB layout tools. All very boring stuff to you, but essential to me.

Anyhow.

Itís been a long afternoon. Ever since I did a system backup on my old machine, I havenít been able to log into my company email/database system. No biggie Ė Iíll just restore it on the new machine and be all set. WRONG. Couldnít even power up. Needed to get admin privileges assigned just to install the first bit of new hardware.

The whole afternoon has been spent getting drivers installed, relocating lost files, re-configuring my mouse (the scrolly wheel is still kaputski!) and trying to get my freakin Lotus Notes running. Gah!! Iíd rather be taking Circeís algebra test. (Really)

Quiet evening last night. Meeting was fine, pretty packed for this bunch too. Couple new faces , still all gals though. I also still suck at calling my sponsor regularly. Got to get better about that. Usually Iím all frantic about getting to the gym in the morning and never think to pick up the phone and call. We agreed that 5:15am was a fine time to call him. Iíd be like a second snooze alarm for him, except that Iím not. Practice, practice, practice.

Saw another Trek (road bike) advertised for $10. Two towns over. Ad was posted last night about 5:30. I didnít see it till I got home from my meeting (ironically MUCH closer to where the bike was located than my own home or work is). Emailed the guy, but I havenít heard from him. I imaging that bike is gone too. For $10, it could need tires, tubes, handlebars, a seat and a chain and still be a steal. Oh well. Iíll keep looking. Even the gals at Al Anon think even a ďnew to meĒ bike still falls under the ďtaking care of meĒ category. Cindy would like to debate the point, but then again, she isnít quite in a program either, is she?

Speaking of scrambling to the gym in the morning Ė I did again this morning. Unfortunately, I was really too late to slink into the cycling class, so I ran and ran and ran instead. Finally dialed down my speed enough to manage to cover 4 miles with out horking out a lung. Now I think Iíll stay at this speed and ratchet up the distance. This ought to translate to faster 5kís, seeing as Iím aiming to run 10kís by summers end. On top of training for that Tour ride. Maybe actual running shoes would help too. More ďtaking care of meĒ coming.

Better go take care of dinner. Iíll go save this and finish it at home tonight.

ĎBout that finish at home part Ė didnít go so good. So weíll trip right through last night and into this morning.

Started out like a normal evening. I got home, kids were either still at work or off at school, Cindy had skipped the gym in favor of drinking. Somehow, drinking also impairs her ability to cook, or even think about cooking. Which is ok really. She cooks fine sober, but drunk? Some of her decisions arenít so hot.

Anyhow. Iíd gotten some ground beef & ground bison (from a trip last summer) out to thaw in the morning. Thought about doing a meatloaf (boring) but decided to do up burgers to grill instead. We had some Brussels sprouts in the fridge, so those got cleaned up, some yams were peeled & cubed, then the both of them tossed in olive oil with some herbs (garlic, parsley, oregano, thyme Ė all the savory ones). Those roasted in the oven till the sprouts had caramelized very nicely (40 minutes or so at 425) Add in a tossed salad and wheat buns for the burgers and you have enough fiber to keep you regular for a few weeks.

Oh Ė before dinner I got a call from that guy that listed the $10 Trek road bike. He had someone headed over to look at it right then, but if that person didnít want it, I was #2 in line. So I quizzed him a bit on it. What size frame (19Ē - too small) what size tires (26Ē Ė again too small). Told him what I was really looking for. A 56cm Ė 58cm (22 Ė 23Ē) frame, 27Ē or 700mm wheels, and maybe 3 sprockets on the front crank (really big one for cruising, medium one for modest hills and a tiny one for major climbs). Turns out he has an 18 speed Peugeot he was getting ready to list this coming weekend. 27Ē rims, 23Ē frame, 3 gear crank up front. Heís going to prep the ad, pics & all, then give me a call when he posts it. Heís giving me dibs on the thing. Iím thinking that as long as it isnít pink, itís sold. .

Also told Cindy in no uncertain terms Iím actively pursuing getting a bike. Used, but something a little more upscale than a freakin Huffy. She thinks a bike is a bike is a bike and doesnít understand the differences. She asked what was wrong with the kids mountain bikes. Why couldnít I ride those? Heh. Gearing, tires, frame design, weight Ė those arenít designed to go fast on a road. Those are designed to survive off road riding, running over rocks & logs, crashing downhill through tall grass & saplings. She thinks if it can do off road, it can do road. To a point, yes, but itís how well it does it that matters. At any rate, itís settled. Iím not going to go buy some $3000 Canondale titanium/carbon thing that weighs 10 pounds. Iíll be reasonable and get the best deal I can in a used bike. After all, when youíre starting with a Huffy damn near anything is an upgrade.

Hereís what Eric has learned in college this year. This is pulled from an email he sent me this morning: (The alarming lack of capitalization is his. Damn kids!)

i have something funny for you to try. go to google and click on the maps link. then choose get directions and type new york as the starting address and london as the end address. then read step 24 when it gives you the directions and you will laugh.

Alternatively, try a big city near you as the start and any city in Europe as the destination. The line that makes you laugh will shift, but it will still be in there. I got directions from Seattle to Kiev no problem. For some reason, I couldnít go from LA to Tokyo.

Figured out what was torpedoing my Lotus Notes on the new machine. All my own fault, of course. Good thing I had a third one as back up. Sheesh. At least I didnít need help from the IT guys (again).

Nice workout this morning. Late again, but at least I didnít miss a cycling class. Snuck in a quick 5K and pounded the legs with the weights. Ohh Ė speaking of which, I have to go get that entered in the system. Geek like me canít have too many methods of collecting and analyzing data.

Must make tomorrow mornings cycling class. Absolute must. Then I gotta think about doing all 3 classes back to back Saturday. Sunday might (pretty please?) include a little ride on some new to me hardware, provided I can get it whipped into riding shape in short order.

Know what else needs doing? Painting the outside of the house where those windows were replaced. Weíre due for some gorgeous weather this weekend, so I ought to plan on getting a coat or two of paint on that section. After bike rides, of course. Then, if Iím still feeling frisky, I might actually head back to the shed and finish painting it too. Only needs another coat of paint on the main body, then some work on the trim to polish it off. Not a big deal, really. (So why has it taken 2 years, hmmmm?)

Time to go. Need to do a few actual work related things, then think about escaping to another meeting. Iím thinking I need another one Ė especially after last night. Need more contact with the olí sponsor too Ė but thatís on me to do.

Oh well Ė off to the wars.



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old habits - new tricks