April 10th, 2006


It musta been Monday

Pretty busy at work. Turns out I will be teaching a class next week, and took a first pass at the materials, discovered that a section I did not get a chance to teach in China was hopelessly mired in impressively complex, but useless, illustrations showing the thousands of ways a video distribution network can be set up. I'll have to do that one from scratch, and also the accompanying troubleshooting section, which has never been done before.

I was supposed to help a guy in LA get his machine on the network, but nobody told me he was pretty much completely computer illiterate. He's the guy who gets the machine out of the box and puts it on the rack. He gave it a good try, but tomorrow he will have someone who knows how to use the vi editor help out. Subtext is he will find someone who knows how to spell.

Exploring the neighborhood, I had lunch at the local Togo's. This one has a bar. And very nice turned wood furniture. Obviously was not built to be a Togo's, it's much nicer. Next door is an eatery staffed by orientals which serves a very small but eclectic menu of popular dishes. Lasagna, sandwiches, Chinese chicken, etc. It's called Café Mélange.

After much agonizing and web page reading, last night I got the old laptop to transfer settings and files to the new laptop using Microsoft's Files and Settings Transfer Wizard (FAST). It requires you to make a wizard floppy disk on the new machine, and run the program from that disk on the old machine. Neither of these laptops have floppy drives, and I am not about to go out And buy an external floppy drive just for this. A hint on an obscure web site told me to use a USB flash drive. I own several of those, so that's what I did.

It didn't take long to get everything transferred, which surprised me, even at 100Mbps. Logging out and back in to the new laptop, it came up with the old laptop's display background, startup and exit music, desktop icons, and that was about it. It had transfered only a handful of programs, and none of their settings. And I had to call Microsoft to get a 6,000-digit authorization code to activate Office 2003.

So I chose the manual method of picking what to transfer, and set that in motion before going to bed. When I checked this morning, it had failed, saying it couldn't find the computer on the network. Yet both machines were still on the network, and both could see each others' shared folders. So I tried again. Same thing. Then I tried saving the files locally, but it ran out of disk space.

So now I'm transferring them to the big PC, and will slurp them up from there with the new laptop, I hope. I had tried this without a wizard disk a couple of days ago, but the new laptop kept saying it couldn't find any files in the folder, even though there was a goodly number of dat files there.

Printed out a form to send in for a light rail pass. As the weather gets better, I'll probably use light rail to get to work. Ride my bike to the station a few blocks away, park it on the train, and ride it the two blocks from the station to work.

I might ride all the way to work once in a while - it's only 4 miles, and I pass cyclers every time I make the drive. But it's not a pleasant ride, much of it one lane roads with no bike lane, most of it on busy roads and on the frontage roads parallel to 101 and 237.

Today I saw something which made me mad. A bicycler in one of those professional looking spandex outfits was waiting for the light to change at the most treacherous intersection on the route, talking on his cell phone. When the light changed he wobbled out of there trying to steer with one hand, holding the phone in the other.


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