I may be awake, but I haven't booted yet.

What it means to blog...

Date/Time Permalink: 06/25/07 12:02:59 pm
Category: General

Somewhere in my voluminous past postings I'm sure I've tossed this idea out there in some form. But I'm pretty sure I've never made it quite clear, so here I'll chisel it in stone:

A blog is a little more that a diary, and a little less than a newspaper or magazine column. It's the least formal, most personal form of writing ever devised. To me, blogging is like I invited people to drop by my living room every day or so at a random hour, just to say 'hi' and see what the devil I'm up to now. Sometimes, you get really lucky and catch the artist having just completed a masterpiece, all ready to show off.

Other times, you catch me in my bathrobe clipping toenails. And not having done a damn thing all day.

Sometimes the place is a mess, and sometimes it's freshly vacuumed and dusted. Sometimes I welcome the company and invite you to have a sit on the porch with me over lemonade, while we crackle our witty repartee into the fresh spring air and pause to hear the birds' songs translate it back and for the wind to sigh it's agreement. And sometimes you come by to find that I'm apologizing as I hurry by on the way to some crisis I have to attend to.

Once in a while, I have to hang the "bisy backson" sign (it's a Pooh reference) and scurry on my rabbit way... but if you sneak a peek around in back of the house when that sign is up - you sometimes-maybe just might catch me flying a kite barefoot in the grass, being totally irresponsible.

Oh, I do professional writing too, all right. That's the time to put on the suit and be punctual, whip open the portfolio and decide on the layout, keep to a deadline and deliver a polished professional product in it's T-crossed, I-dotted glory, signed with a flourish and stamped with my quality seal. But if you wanted that, you'd be reading an article or a book right now.

But you're reading a blog. So, hey, no sweat, it's a blog. Thanks for dropping by. Wait til I tell you the crazy stuff that happened to me today. You got time for a cold one?


Today (and last night) I've been trying to build Computer Number Four. This will be my new Crash Test Dummy, now that the kids have taken over the old one. Problem is, I got cocky and decided to take a random ATX motherboard (aren't they all generic anyway?) and replace the Pentium 2 with a Pentium 3, drop other random spare parts in, and try to boot it. It starts, the BIOS works, it posts, it even finds the disk image for both Tom's root-boot floppy and a grml and Mepis CD.

But then it invariably dies in mid-boot, with a message of some form of "unable to handle kernel pointer dereference at virtual address", sometimes a NULL pointer and sometimes complaining about a BIOS-supplied RAM table. Then it does a register dump, stack puke, and kernel panic.

At this point, I'm thinking it's either (a) not wise to swap Pentiums without updating the BIOS, (b) a bad RAM chip, or (c) bad motherboard. Updating the BIOS is most likely out of the question; it's American Megatrends release 10/25/1999S and a visit to the site indicates that I'd first have to ID the motherboard using the AMI mobo identification utility, which only runs on Windows, of course. What the hell good that is if obviously you wouldn't need the tool unless you couldn't boot the operating system, Windows or otherwise, escapes me.

Anyway, I'm not really a hardware hacker, and I have a long way to go to figure out the steps to solve this one. So this is my excuse why I haven't been reviewing distros anyway. And I doubt I'll be solving much this week, due to deadlines on writing jobs and demanding clients a-loomin'.

Well, time to hang the 'bisy backson' sign again. Theme? No theme to this post? God, who has time to worry about that?

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