Outage  -  @ 16:59:37
Sorry about the outage today... the webserver had to be relocated.


Stupid electricity...  -  @ 14:36:04
Heh, it seems the power went out yesterday while I was running around Memphis. In this comedy of errors, the cable modem didn't reset correctly, and the web server didn't restart. Add to this not getting home until 2:00am and sleeping in until 10:00, and I guess the site ws down for a day. Blah.


Stupid printers  -  @ 22:25:35
Ugh. So I have this HP Deskjet 970cxi printer, supposedly part of the "professional" series. I used to use (and still have in the original box) a HP Deskjet 500 (the second generation deskjet printer) that served me very well for five years. It's still in good shape, if a bit slow. I "upgraded" to a Panasonic KX-P4400 laser printer. It works very well, also, and is faster than the DeskJet 500. That lasted for a couple of years, until I decided I just had to have color printing. When I went printer shopping, I thought the 970cxi was the better deal overall.

I've had the 970 for about three years. For the first two years, it was a decent, maintenance-free printer. About a year ago, it developed a grinding noise, as if a gear was skipping. After a while, it went away, then came back again. It never seemed to affect printing, everything came out the same quality as before. Tonight, the printer decides not to print at all. If it doesn't paper jam when feeding paper into the printer, it decides to tell me "The print mechanism cannot move." That's funny, since I can move it just fine manually. A partial teardown of the printer yielded nothing interesting...

Is the printer worth salvaging? Not really, IMNSHO. I paid a lot for the printer at the time, since is was a higher end deskjet. Today, I could get the same performance, albeit without duplex printing (handy), for $99; for $150 I get much faster printing and photograph-printing capabilities. Heck, HP even has a printer for $50, but I want something that lasts longer than six months.

For now, it's back to the Panasonic. Later, if I get money back from the Fed, I'll probably consider another color printer. (Notice how I didn't mention getting screwed on consumables? Another rant for another day.)


Nope, you can't get in your own house  -  @ 07:46:57
I usually don't get involved in political discussions, but DMCA vs. The Garage Door Opener is just stupid. The Chamberlain Group garage door company is suing Skylink, a maker of universal remotes for garage doors. Question: what happens if I lose the remote, and the garage door company is out of business? What is my recourse? Will Wal-Mart be sued next for having key duplicators (since only lock companies supply original keys)? Maybe not, since key duplicators aren't digital. Ok, then Sony, for its nice (but expensive) universal programmable remote? That would be an interesting case, since Sony itself makes audio and video equipment. Would Hitachi sue Sony if Sony's universal remote activates Hitachi's products? Where is the criminal intent here?


Begun, the mall closing has  -  @ 14:21:49
It's started. Wal-Mart used to be an anchor store at the Oxford mall. When they moved to their new supercenter down the street a few months ago, it would be just a matter of time before the mall started closing. See, the mall isn't in good shape to start. There used to be a Mexican restaurant in the mall, but they closed four years ago, and the space is still vacant. Several spaces have been periodically occupied, but are vacant. The Stage anchor store closed well over a year ago, and their space is vacant.

Today, while shopping at the mall (it doesn't take long, let me assure you), I stopped in the smallish Waldenbooks to see the new stuff. Well well, they're closing now. The nearest store will be in the mall in Tupelo (about an hour away). If I'm going to drive to go to a bookstore, I'll just go to Memphis (also an hour away) and go to the much larger (and better selection at) Barnes and Noble.

It's too bad. The Waldenbooks was about the only store that interested me at the mall.
GeoURL  -  @ 00:00:42
It's cool belonging to webrings or mutual linking with your friends and associates. But what if you want to find websites near you in physical space (i.e., the real world)? Enter GeoURL. Submit your website in their database, and you can see other sites near you IRL. See who's near me.


You got the look...  -  @ 22:43:05
No, you haven't misstepped. This is the same Black Robes site, just a redesign. See here for why. Basically, I'm tired of coding the same stuff a lot of other weblogs already have. As you can see, most of the old site has been preserved; in fact, this site is better in some respects. I'm in the process of migrating the rest of the site, stories and poetry are still not here, nor is the PHP code, which will be moved to the blackboards. You can see the version 1 site here.


Giving up control?  -  @ 22:58:45
My friend asked me today, "Why are you using someone else's blogger? Are you giving up control of your website?" On the surface, those are easy questions to answer. I'm using a weblog that has features I desire to use for my website, but am too lazy to program myself. In no way am I giving up control of the site.

The questions do raise some interesting issues. With the original Black Robes site, I wrote virutally all the code, and could tailor it exactly to my needs. As such, all the components are tightly integrated, but it does force me to do almost all the work myself. Features I would like to use, such as searching and archiving, would be shoehorned into the site's fabric. Leveraging an existing weblog gains me instant access to capabilities I want to have (such as login features, remote maintenance, a plethora of plugin options) without writing it all myself. Gaining the extra capabilities is worth some rework of my site components.

However, by using open software such as b2 and phpBB to help me run my site, it does cause some rethinking and reworking of what must happen on the site. For example, I have some program code online. While b2 has (imo) decent article capabilities, it isn't as good for holding code snippets and download files. Enter phpBB. The code library and articles fit nicely inside b2 and phpBB's capabilities. Other sections of the website, such as the Stitch adoption program do not fit inside either software. It must exist "outside" b2. I am making an effort to make the "outside" pages match b2's layout.

All told, while the software I use to run the site changed, the site itself is still all me. Heh.


Sayonara, 2002!  -  @ 00:00:00
Happy New Year, 2003!


Testing a new site design  -  @ 20:48:28
Well, it's the dawn of 2003, and I'm looking for a new site design. Perusing Freshmeat for weblogs, I decided to try b2 to see if it does what I want. Will find out in a couple of weeks.

0.812 [powered by b2.] 806/301 views


Noteworthy Books

Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles de Lint. More stories from Newford.

Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King. Re-read the classic today. Prepare for the second movie December 18, 2002.

Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner by Paul M. Sammon. A good book on the backstory and production of Blade Runner.

Noteworthy Games

Resident Evil 0 Yes, on the Gamecube. What happened at the mansion? Horror starts here...

Dungeon Siege It was a toss-up between Dungeon Siege and Jedi Knight II. A nice little adventure sounded good.

Quake III Arena Gotta gear up for QuakeCon 2002!

Noteworthy Music

...and all that could have been... by Nine Inch Nails. I've had "Fragile" for a while, and still think CD1 (left) is vastly superior to CD2 (right). "The Great Below" is an awesome song, I've been in a slow mood lately.

Tron soundtrack by Wendy Carlos. First official CD release!

Orchid by Ishq. Get yours at SPSY Records.

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