Well, it’s Saturday. It’s cool, bright, and lazy.
I usually have a pile of bookmarks I’ve noted and collected each week, but this week has been slower than most. I have a few collections of subjects to get up, but so far I have been feeling pretty lazy.
Watched the Notre Dame – Navy game. It was really exciting. Went outside for a brief bit to pick up yard litter and stuff overturned from the strong winds over the last 24 hours. I’d like to test my wireless connection out in the back-yard, but it is just too windy to be enjoyable out there.
I do have plans to make a pot of chili for the family. Got a new recipe to try out. Seemed appropriate for the cold night forecast for tonight. I haven’t done much baking for a while, but I might also make some peanut-butter/chocolate bars again as well. Alvis and I tried about a month ago, but the big mistake was going with margarine rather than real butter. The bottom layer came out mealy. Ick. Nothing beats butter.
Dell USB HID Keyboard and WinPE headaches
I’m still banging my head against the wall with my VistaPE building sessions at work.
For a recap, see Rainy-Day Placeholder Linkage: It’s a PE 2.0/VistaPE thing…
To summarize, I have to create a WinPE 2.0 based live boot CD that has had PGP encryption drivers “injected” to allow access to whole disk encrypted systems. My preferred platform for WinPE 2.0 is VistaPE. I can successfully build a PGP/PE combo with a pure WAIK build but that just nets me a command-line box. Not very “sexy”.
I can build a VistaPE/WAIK build that is sexy and has PGP, only the Root USB HID keyboard driver used by our Dell Optiplex systems won’t load. I’ve installed an on-screen keyboard tool as a workaround, but it is clunky-sexy.
The D-Man attended a TechNet session last week here in Houston and brought me back some awesome goodies. Biggest was a “real” Vista Ultimate setup DVD with a 1-year promo license. I’m less interested in installing Vista with it, but it has become golden as it now allows me to build full “Vista” based VistaPE disks instead of relying on the Vista WAIK wim file. Really sexy.
So now it gets really weird. I successfully build a Vista base VistaPE WinPE 2.0 disk. I also successfully injected the PGP drivers on it. I copied the resulting WIM file to my bootable USB stick build and tested it on the Dell Optiplex. Worked 100% perfectly. Full VistaPE environment and keyboard worked perfectly. So did the PGP drivers. Awesome.
But when I burned the same ISO file to CD, the PGP driver load causes a BSOD in the boot disk. It works off USB but not off CD. Strange.
So I continue to work through the driver loading issues. I’m determined to get it to work.
Mom got me a few Star Wars Lego sets for my birthday last month. I built a mini-kit in bed one night, but the two bigger sets remain in the box.
I noted this week that Lego loses EU trademark on bricks. We grew up with Lego blocks in our home and had several large tubs filled with them. I think Mom still does have them somewhere in her home. Every now and then a wanna-be brick would make it in. These were like weeds. They looked pretty but we tossed them as soon as they were discovered. Lego has always been tops in our book due to their quality. Everything else just doesn’t satisfy.
For days when you don’t want to scatter the bricks, there is also the Digital Designer by Lego. It’s a free download that lets you design and build virtual Lego models. If you are so enamored by your choice, you can always purchase the custom build kit from Lego. That’s pretty cool.
I still haven’t had the fiscal courage to help our nation’s ailing economy by making a DSLR camera purchase.
I keep going around and around on the choices. My photography friend at work (as well as my brother) both recommend the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTI, or the SIGMA DP2, but now I am leaning towards something from the Olympus E-System Digital SLR mid-range line.
To keep fueling my jonesing, I have been spending time browsing through the loads of great photography work to be found on Flickr. However, browsing and finding the best works is daunting.
To that end I have been using two specialized “Flickr aggregators” to help speed my image surfing.
Scout: Find your photographs in Flickr’s Explore – Created by BigHugeLabs, it allows for image collection loads from random artists who have made Flickr Explore. It’s really nice and I’ve found a number of artists in particular I have bookmarked for future reference.
Flickr Leech – Created by Andrew Houser is simply amazing. Load a collection for a particular day or search for images based on a keyword. The interface is really pleasing and it is a joy to search for specific images. Just how long Flickr Leech is allowed to continue is in some doubt. See Thomas Hawk’s post “Flickr Censors Popular Flickr API Developer, Developer Threatens to Kill Flickr Application FlickrLeech This Week” to get the background. I hope it survives.
Update/Tip: Figured out there were also some Flickr Groups that specialized in the particular DSLR cameras I am considering. What a fantastic way to really see just what kind of imaging each camera is capable of delivering in the hands of an amateur or professional photographer!
- Flickr: Canon EOS Digital Rebel Groups
- Flickr: Olympus E-510 Group
- Flickr: Olympus E-520 Group
- Flickr: Sigma DP1 Group
All of them look pretty amazing!