Monthly Archives: March 2006

lcd aquired

I’ve aquired my lcd monitor. It’s a Samsung 150mp, at mac’s recommendation. Should make things a lot simpler, having direct inputs for many different video types directly, instead of having to use a PC to do the format swapping. Having a remote and picture-in-picture are cool bonuses too.

Next step: lenses and lighting.

Wanted: 15″ LCD monitor

I’ve been hunting for one of these for a few weeks now. I’ve not posted until now, because it always seems like they should be easier to find. I’d like a used 15″ LCD. It doesn’t need a working backlight, as I’ll be stripping that off anyway.

If you have one for sale, email me or leave a comment here. I’ll pay for the monitor and shipping. It just has to have a few specific features. If you leave me the make and model, I’ll be able to find out if it will work.

Thanks!

Ben-Hur

Melissa and I went to see Ben-Hur at the Art Craft Theatre in Franklin Saturday night. It’s a theatre that’s being rennovated. It was actually a very enjoyable experience. Excellent movie too. I had not seen it before, and I was quite amazed at the production quality. Highly recommended, if anyone else out there has not yet seen it.

Democratic Agenda

The Democrats have revealed their plan to bankrupt America within five years. I’m not a Republican by any stretch of the imagination, but does anyone really buy the Democratic agenda anymore? It’s as though the carebears took all the issues facing the nation, and did a care bear stare, and decided to fix everything wrong within five years, at no cost to anyone. How convenient.

Sure, as a citizen without access to low-latency broadband, part of me wishes their “100% broadband coverage” bull-hockey was plausible. We’re not South Korea or Denmark or any other small area of land with a bazillion people in it, however. We’re the United States, and we cover a not insignificant area of land. This makes “broadband for all” infeasible with current technology.

Also, from the article:

“I was told that an entry level person at Wal-Mart, who works his or her entire career at Wal-Mart, would make as much as the CEO makes in two weeks. A lifetime of work versus two weeks in the executive suite — this is not America, this is not fairness, this is not the basis of a strong middle class that is essential for our democracy. We must change that in our country,” she said.

Now “she” is Nancy Pelosi. As a Representative, she pulls in $162,100 per year. Minimum wage is currently $5.15 per hour. To bring Rep. Pelosi’s quote into context, a worker who works at Wal-Mart their entire life will pull in about $503,464 (all other things being equal)($10,712 per year from age 18 until age 65). Rep. Pelosi earns this amount in 3.1 years, which is one and a half terms.

If it is unfair in the employee versus CEO comparison, is it fair that she herself be making so very much more than these poor wage slaves? Bah. The entire article makes me angry. I really have no idea how the government gets *anything* done, given the wildly varying degrees of understanding of reality we have present in our congressmen.

Goodbye, Good Dog

We put our dog Jett to sleep yesterday around noon. Melissa and I have always known that Jett would probably not live as long as a dog otherwise might, because he had two fairly extreme and rather inoperable hernias. It turns out that it was worse than we knew. Wednesday night, Jett developed a blockage in his small intestine that was causing him discomfort, if not pain.

Melissa took him to the vet Thursday morning. The Vet took x-rays of Jett’s chest and gut. The blockage was clearly visible in his small intestine. Unfortately, it turned out that his large intestine was located in his chest cavity, around his heart. This, in short, means that extensive surgery would have been required to have even a small hope that Jett could survive.

The surgeon was hopeful that this might be possible, but in the end, Melissa and I decided that it would not be fair to Jett to put him through all of the agony associated with the surgery and recovery, as there was no guarantee that the hernias could be fixed. As a kindness to our friend, we had him put to sleep yesterday, and buried him in the yard.

We miss our Jett.

Horrible

South Dakota has made abortion illegal in their state. Apparently, the law proscribes abortion, including abortions for pregnancies arising from rape. Obviously, there are a large group of opponents to this new law. One such oppponent has written a manual for performing an abortion at home. She is being heralded as a friend to the downtrodden women of South Dakota.

The lightening rod that this person and many others hold up for examination here is that not even pregnancies that are a result of rape are allowed to be aborted. Think about that for a minute. Rape is a horrible crime, worse than many other crimes because it horribly violates the woman’s person. Everyone can understand that, on some level. I do not, however, understand the idea that the tiny life that results from this abominable crime should be murdered. When is the murder of an innocent life an acceptable punishment of a crime that is only incidentally related to the existance of this person? Does this murder absolve the crime? Hardly.

I can understand a woman not wanting to raise a child that was fathered by a rapist. I don’t think anyone could fault her for allowing the child to be adopted. I do, however, weep for a nation who finds murder of an innocent to be a good and proper response to the heinous crime of another. I stand amazed when there is outcry against a law that makes this sort of indiscriminate murder illegal.

Colds of Doom

Melissa and I are finally recovering from head colds of doom. Melissa had it for longer than I did, and unfortunately she doesn’t get sick days from work. We’re both down to just sore throats and some drainage though, instead of headaches, constant nose blowing, etc.

Even though I’m not 100% today, I’m sure glad to be almost recovered.

wildblue rolling blackout theory

Melissa and I are currently using Wildblue satellite internet service. Overall, I find it to be a very good alternative to dialup. I get excellent bandwidth and about an 800ms average ping, with no special client-side hardware. Best of all, it’s no more expensive than DSL or Cable internet.

The bad side is that over the last month, I’ve been getting disconnected 1-3 times per night. It’s really kind of out of control. I have a theory about why it’s happening though. Obviously, skip this post if you’re not a geek.

Observations:

  • Outages can occur with the connection light on the satellite modem (2nd LED from the top) either on or off. Usually the light is still on when an outage occurs, but both do occur.
  • Waiting sometimes restores service with no intervention from myself.
  • Resetting the modem *always* restores service, immediately. (thus, while it could be a problem with my modem, it is at least not a permanent hardware failure of any sort)
  • My router is not at fault. I have stopped resetting my router during outages and now only reset the modem. Resetting the modem itself (but not the router) fully restores service each time I have tried it that way (perhaps the last 8-10 outages).
  • Wildblue is reducing the bandwidth allowances in their FAP by 25% as of today. (the Fair Access Policy is the document that governs the amount of bandwidth you are allowed to consume per 30 day period, based on which tier of service you purchase)
  • Technical support is not at all helpful with these outages, but simply walks me through a modem/router reset. (ie, instead of addressing the cause of the outage, the symptoms are merely addressed) They always manage to spend 20-30 minutes of my time doing this, but never manage to realize that I’ve already been through this with them many times before.

Based on these observations, my conclusion is fairly obvious. The reduction of the FAP tells me that wildblue’s current infrastructure is not capable of managing the load that their customer base places upon it. Just as electricity providers do in the event of a shortage, they seem to have implemented “rolling blackouts” of a sort, disconnecting clients for random amounts of time to artificially reduce load on the system.

While this is just an educated guess on my part, I feel that it’s a reasonable conclusion to draw from the facts available to me. What do you think?