Bucket's Doomworld Forums Blog

Bucket's Doomworld Forums Blog

More old PC adventures. October 17, 2011, 3:44 pm
I'm downgrading my laptop.
That is, I have a Toshiba Tecra 8000 (P2 266MHz, 256MB RAM, 4GB HDD) with Windows 2000 on it. For a while, there was a novelty to doing new things on an old PC, but that's worn off. Basically I can do the same things on my new laptop and much faster. If I really needed it for all that, I'd be better off with Slackware or Puppy Linux anyway.

So... instead, I decided to split the HDD in half. The first would have Win98SE and all of my old Windows apps, while the second would have my old DOS apps.

The first thing I had a problem with is FDISK. How the hell have I used computers for so long having never used this? I guess all the drives we used to buy were pre-formatted. I screwed it up the first time around, somehow making a logical drive that I couldn't delete, leaving me to do the whole thing over with Gparted.

I managed to get everything working and stable. Looking through all the settings, I'm wondering how I never could get computers to work right when I was a kid. Probably either because we bought cheap hardware at flea markets, or because I'd never heard of online updates. I blame my dad being the last person on the block to go DSL.

On a related note, I hope to be getting a few old boxen from relatives soon - an 8088 and a Pentium 75MHz. I already got a 286 and 486 to play with, so we'll see what happens.
7 Comments

Yeah, I'm a whore. August 18, 2011, 12:37 am
So I bought an iPhone 4. FOR WORK.

The idea was that I could run the business from anywhere, taking e-mails and tethering my laptop so I could access the company website. Supposedly I bought the 3G model - but how do I know it's working? The first thing it did when I turned it on was ask me for a wireless access point. I don't see how a 3G phone would need WiFi. The model # is MC677LL/A and it supports EV-DO Rev. A (800/1900 MHz), if that means anything.
17 Comments

latest artistic expression August 9, 2011, 2:55 am
Chainsaw Bear Versus Hover Shark: A Lyrical Poem

(chorus)
CHAINSAW BEAR VERSUS HOVER SHARK
CHAINSAW BEAR VERSUS HOVER SHARK
CHAINSAW BEAR VERSUS HOVER SHARK
CHAINSAW BEEEAAARRRRR
HOVER SHAAAARRRRRK
CHAINSAW BEEEAAARRRRR
HOVER SHAAAARRRRRK

(verse)
In a secret government program, a bear was trained to wield a chainsaw
Ten foot tall melee massacre nightmare, clear cut trees and mountain streams stain red

(chorus)
CHAINSAW BEAR VERSUS HOVER SHARK
CHAINSAW BEAR VERSUS HOVER SHARK
CHAINSAW BEAR VERSUS HOVER SHARK
CHAINSAW BEEEAAARRRRR
HOVER SHAAAARRRRRK
CHAINSAW BEEEAAARRRRR
HOVER SHAAAARRRRRK

(verse)
In a secret government program, a shark had anti-gravity implants
Death darts and winds through air like lightning, no where is safe from ubiquitous mayhem

(chorus)
CHAINSAW BEAR VERSUS HOVER SHARK
CHAINSAW BEAR VERSUS HOVER SHARK
CHAINSAW BEAR VERSUS HOVER SHARK
CHAINSAW BEEEAAARRRRR
HOVER SHAAAARRRRRK
CHAINSAW BEEEAAARRRRR
HOVER SHAAAARRRRRK

(blazing guitar solo)

(bridge)
The end
foretold
in teeth
and claws

(another guitar solo, this time accompanied by sounds of genocide)

(verse)
In a cataclysmic event, of unknown scale and horrible magnitude
Hover shark and chainsaw bear locked in combat, and no one lived to tell the tale

(chorus)
CHAINSAW BEAR VERSUS HOVER SHARK
CHAINSAW BEAR VERSUS HOVER SHARK
CHAINSAW BEAR VERSUS HOVER SHARK
CHAINSAW BEEEAAARRRRR
HOVER SHAAAARRRRRK
CHAINSAW BEEEAAARRRRR
HOVER SHAAAARRRRRK
3 Comments

The well has run dry. May 23, 2011, 2:51 pm
Well, that's it. After a year of struggling to keep a business afloat, it can no longer survive as it is. The economy got to us in the end. Though we run the kind of business where a recession would hit us last, all it did was give our tiny operation the opportunity to end it gracefully instead of crash and burn.

I've already skipped plenty of paychecks so I'm down to selling my possessions. The Porsche is the first to go. You should never sell something that expensive when you actually need the money. After that goes the apartment. I'll probably move in with my parents for a few months to save up money for another place to live. I was paying way too much for it anyway.

My coworkers are somewhat confident that it can survive somehow. On the other hand, my hindsight shows me we were lucky to last as long as we did. Still - even if you make something out of your blood, sweat and tears, there's no guarantee that you won't have to let it go someday because it's financially hurting you.
6 Comments

More flea market adventures. May 2, 2011, 12:28 pm
No picture of an amazing haul this time; I was mostly selling. However, I came across a great used computer for SEVEN DOLLARS.

eMachines T2341
1.9GHz Athlon XP
384MB RAM
40GB HDD
S3 onboard gfx, 32MB shared

I assumed that for $7, something must be wrong with it, though if I could salvage even a few parts from it the money would be well-spent. Imagine my delight when I discovered the fatal issue: one of the RAM sticks is partially unseated. I'm sure the guy who sold it to me thought he was selling junk. Too bad he'll never know I'll be cleaning it up and turning it around for $200.
11 Comments

Finally, an album February 3, 2011, 12:20 pm
Since my triple-album prog rock opus is being put on the backburner until I'm rich enough to build a home studio, I decided to go ahead and put out a rap album.

http://www.cdbaby.com/AlbumDetails.aspx?AlbumID=qdeezy

Most of the music is my creation. They were composed almost exclusively on free software, with a DAW called LMMS and an old drum sequencing program called Hammerhead. Of course, there was nothing free about the studio we mastered them in. There are one or two tracks made by a friend of mine, who specializes in pirated software.

This rapper we're working with, Q Deezy, is more versatile than he lets on and we're probably going to be working with his "posse" next round.
4 Comments

Dead baby December 18, 2010, 4:20 pm
My girlfriend had a baby this August, though she had to give it up for personal reasons. Both of her other children were with their fathers: one a junkie who kidnapped his daughter and severely neglected her, and the other an ex-junkie who thinks he's too good to let her see their son. She told the father of her third child that she'd have no problem aborting the pregnancy if it wasn't going to have a home and a family. The father swore up and down that he'd do the right thing. Shortly after, the drug dealing and abuse started - once so bad when she was six months pregnant that she had to visit the hospital and the fetus's heart stopped three times.

When she was eight months, we got in touch. We met a long time ago but went our separate ways. I took her in and sort of unofficially began dating her, though I made it clear that I wasn't ready to be a father. She had no problem with this and chose to give the baby to the woman who took her daughter in when the father went to jail.

Fast forward four months, this past Tuesday, when my girlfriend gets a phone call from the police. First with an accusatory tone, he was asking the nature of the relationship between her and the foster mother without explanation. Eventually she learned that Jonathan, the baby, was found in his crib not breathing. He was taken to a children's hospital and it was estimated that he'd spent about 30 minutes without air. The only part of his brain left functioning was his brain stem.

We took an 8-hour drive down to Charlotte to see him. When we finally arrived, we found that he was being kept alive with machines. He would barely take breaths with a respirator. He was pretty much completely gone already, and only technically alive. There was a lot of commotion over who legally owned the baby, who had the right to deny tests and remove life support. Of course, nothing they wanted to do would've made the child better, only removed liability from them.

We kept getting visits from the foster mother's church group. I figured I'd have to bite my tongue for the next few days. My girlfriend was understandably going through a crisis of faith, so that didn't help matters. Why would you tell a grieving mother that "God has a plan"? They didn't even bother offering help or strength, they were only interested in proselytizing. First they'd pray for a miracle, for Jonathan to get better; then when it was obvious there was nothing to be done, they prayed that Jesus would take him. I understand that people have coping mechanisms, but it's going too far in this situation for something based on false hopes.

Anyway, we finally decided to unplug the machines because the baby gradually lost the ability to breathe on his own. The two moms took turns holding him as he stopped breathing and his heart slowed. I don't know if you've ever seen a death, but it's completely surreal. As the blood stops flowing and settles, the skin takes on a pasty, plastic texture. The eyes and lips turn blue. We can no longer sense the tiny involuntary movements that tell us someone is alive - and the next thing you know, you're just holding a thing, an object. It has no life inside it and your brain can tell the difference, though what you're looking at has barely changed at all.

My girlfriend is taking it about as well as you can expect. She has to mourn by herself, without people telling her that everything will be OK and they're so sorry for her loss. All I've thought of to do is try to make things as normal and predictable as possible, and hold her when she stops for a moment, because I can tell when it hits her again. I hope that's enough.

13 Comments

I wanna be the guy. November 28, 2010, 10:48 pm
I don't know if any of you have experienced a similar dilemma, but I have an issue with being the kind of boyfriend I want to be. I always figured that if you do something for someone, it should be because you want to - not because you're asked or expected or trying to be 'even'.

I wish I could be a generous person but I never get the opportunity, because she asks me for EVERYTHING. "Can you drive me to work? Can you pick me up? Can you buy me this? Can you take me here?" I can't show up at her work and have lunch because she's already asked. I can't offer to pay for dinner because we've already gone under the assumption that I will. It's not that I mind spending the money or gas or time - but I'm never able to do it out of the kindness of my heart.

The option to surprise her with nice gestures is being taken away from me. I can either do what she wants me to do, or say "no" and be a shithead.
11 Comments

Yay museum tour November 14, 2010, 9:05 pm
The Mutter Museum, that is. Home of an amazing collection of medical oddities. If you've ever wondered what a shoulder presentation is, or how syphilis affects the brain, or what tools 19th century doctors would use for eye surgery, this is the place for you.

[yt]HL9AWYNVFm0[/yt]

Notable exhibits included shrunken heads, the broken ankle of John Wilkes Booth, the Megacolon (seriously, it was bigger than my leg), books bound in human skin, the birth defect exhibit, the collection of swallowed items, the Soap Lady and lots of curved spines. All in all it was an interesting trip. I recommend it to anyone visiting Philadelphia.
1 Comment

I'm pretty much an expert computerist. November 8, 2010, 11:51 pm
To-day I replaced the CPU on my laptop.



My previous CPU was the TF-20 single core chip, which was appropriate for a while, but seeing it try to multitask was just pitiful. This chip has slightly higher wattage, so I'll have to see if it roasts my thighs. I should even get better life out of the battery now that the CPU doesn't have to struggle to do menial tasks.

EDIT: Image no worky!
Anyway, it's an AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-56.
5 Comments

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