Saturday, January 07, 2006

Geared Up

I'm geared up and ready to go.

Tomorrow I will be setting up my father-in-law's new Dell pc. I'm ready to burn a cd-rom full of applications, utilities, security stuff and desktop images. I plan to get it configured, then pull the hard-drive from his old pc and put it (temporarily) in his new one to do a data transfer. Once we are sure it is running well, we plan to reconfigure his old one into a Linux based web browsing station for the TV room. I'm trying to decide what to use...and am leaning to SLAX or Berry distros right now since all they will be doing is internet surfing and email while away from their new Dell in the study.

I'm still trying to figure out why my Blogger sidebar shows great in Firefox but floats to the bottom in InternetExplorer. It has something to do with the layout spacing. I played with it for a hour and got the template looking better (see how the sidebar elements are centered). Finally I created a 2nd fresh blog just so I could snag a template that was working in both. I have copied the code and am going to compare them side by side to pin down where the issue is. But that will have to wait for now.

Google announced a new "product" (?) called Google Pack. It comes with a series of software items for you to download and install on your pc. I'm curious, but won't be downloading it on any pc's I own or support. I'm also very surprised they chose Norton's for the Antivirus pick. It is only a trial subscription and
I am really surprised by their choice of Norton's AV. I would have put my money on ClamAV--open source and pretty darn good--albeit the interface needs some upgrade to XP-candy style refinement rather than something like Win95. And the big question remains...can a user then run manual-updates to the DATS after 6-months? or will they be stuck with a program they don't want to upgrade (for $$) but don't want to uninstall (and loose protection). Sounds kinda dangerous to me...As for me personally, I'll stick with Grisoft's AVG-free for now.

From a "mom and pop" standpoint--or just the curious--it might "just"do. If you read their blog, the (surface) intent seems to be to offer a "one-stop" download package of some basic software enhancements that can make update management simple and installation easy. If this is becomes a successful bundling/deployment model, I could see them offering additional bundle packs: graphics, security, (open office?), etc...maybe this one is general enough for them to "fish the waters" with to see how many people bite.

On the Cool Stuff List: This Lexar USB stick has a visible indicator (e-ink) to display how much space you have used. That is the best USB "gimmick" I have seen. I think I'll get me a 2GB one for work! Awesome!

Lavie's dad was taken to the ER this morning running a 102+ fever for several days. Lavie went up to spend the day with him and his mother. Alvis and I had to stay home to work on her English class project. We spent the entire day cutting out dragon figures, making a goblet of fire, a wizard's trophy, a golden egg. And later this week I (Lavie doesn't sew) will work with Alvis to sew a mermaid doll. I promise pictures when it is all done. It's a spectacular craft/engineering/art project. Wow. We wrapped it up around 7pm for the night. Cops was on tv. Had to watch that. Pop's back at home now (high fever caused by bronchitis) and resting comfortably, but wanting me to know he wants me to come and get his computer going ASAP.

During a mid-afternoon crafting break, Alvis and I decided to get outside and take in some fresh air and sunshine. On the way to the mailbox, we passed a group of neighborhood kids (7+) gathered around a downed bike getting repaired by them. On the way back they were still at it so I (very uncharacteristically) asked them if they needed some help. The kid (8?) was trying to get his chain back on the gears. I popped it on right away and it popped back off. Hmm. There was too much play in the chain. So I offered to take it to our place where I could adjust the chain tension. Deal. So there Alvis and I were walking down the street, me carrying the bike and 7+ kids in tow. I grabbed my tool kit from the trunk and we all went to work on it. Once I got the chain tension fixed, it still kept popping off. The kid looked upset and said he hoped he didn't get in trouble for tearing up his new bike (apparently he had already been fussed at before). This time I took the time to watch the chain as I slowly rotated the crank and "ah-ha" found the trouble. The bike looked pretty cool, but the main gear crank was cut from some pretty thin and flexible metal. The crank gear had all these wicked design cutouts, but that left it very flexible on top of the thin metal. (....when I was a kid, they made the crank gears out of 1/4" nickel-plated steel....). Another 5 minutes of bending the crank true and the chain was good and solid and excitement passed over the group of kids as they took off again.

I don't know what made me stop and help today. I'm not a distant guy, but I generally let people and kids be unless they ask me first. It kinda seemed like something my grandpa would do.

But the payoff came as Alvis helped me pick up my tools and pack them away. "That was a really nice thing you did, Daddy," she said to me smiling.


See you in the skies,

1 comment:

Mike, Nicki, and Josh said...


I just tried to post a comment and it wouldn't let me because it contained some HTML that isn't accepted on the comment line. However, I just sent you an email with what I hope is a fix for your sidebar issues in IE. Let me know if it helps...