28.02.07 (category: computerwelt)
I'm a fan of used laptops, as they are cheap and reliable and provide exactly what I need a laptop to do; write and surf the net. They also provide me with a little project of setting it up, maybe upgrading it a little bit, and finishing it to suit my exact needs.
For a long time now I've been using a Compaq Armada M700 (specs):
The only thing I upgraded was a DVD when I bought it, and an additional 128MB RAM. With a PIII 450MHz CPU and 256MB RAM it runs Windows XP without any glitches, although a bit slow. I've been using the Puppylinux live CD, in combination with a pup001 file, those times when I've got to write right now.
Thanks to an employee at work who had a laptop with a failing harddrive and consequently bought herself a new Dell laptop, I've got myself a new machine for next to nothing. All I had to do was replace the harddrive, run a few tests, and now I'm in the process of installing Xubuntu as primary OS. It's a Fujitsu-Siemens product of the Amilo D series, namely Amilo-D NO C1100. There's a pretty quick review here.
Technical characteristics of the Amilo D (specification)
26.02.07 (category: news)
The kid doing his civil service here now, has a habit of eating his lunch watching movies on the computer. No harm done, I reckon. I'd be the last to deny any office worker some entertainment during work hours. We all need to stress down a bit.
But wearing headsets somehow encourages him to make the most out of the audible parts of eating, that you would normally tone down (unless you're from East Asia), e.g. slurping, moaning, sighing, burping, gasping, chewing, swallowing. Every lunch hour turns into an orgy of digestion in dolby surround. And he's on the opposite side of our vast office.
Conversely, I could show up to work wearing a blindfold one day. And because I couldn't see anything, heck, why don't I just go around naked in all of Nature's Glory? It's not like I can see anything so how can it bother anyone else, right?
Even though you can't hear the world, it does not mean the world can't hear you.
posted by Sigg3 @ 12:31 pm
I've had some awkward problems with the wireless connection at work - the box is a WinXP Pro SP2 - and they didn't seem to fit in with the normal heap of wireless issues. What happened was that it took an awful long time to log in on the domain, and starting up the OS was immensely slow due to the lack of a network connection. Repairing simply didn't work, since the connection was already excellent according to Windoze, but I couldn't ping the local servers, printers or anything else.
This morning, after a long problem-free period, I had the same problem again. Then I remembered that I had updated VMware to the latest version, and consequently activated the VMware network adapters. I disabled them, renewed the dhcp lease, rebooted et voilá!
This is an Inspiron 6k with the Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2915ABG card.
In other cases, especially with slower (802.11b) network cards, I've found that Windoze Automatic Updates seem to block off necessary traffic (like clearing the ARP cache, dhcp request aso) while trying to download updates. This causes an evil circle of AU trying to download updates while keeping the computer off the wireless network. Turning AU off and ipconfig /renew seems to work. In those cases I've just told the client how to download manually through the Automatic Updates website instead (which is what I myself do anyway).
posted by Sigg3 @ 12:29 pm
22.02.07 (category: news)
The regular flu, in addition to a gastric flu, has invaded Norway over the past week. It is Winter holiday for people with kids, but I see many with or without them absent from work, lying in bed at home with running noses and a fever. I'm one of them.
Right now I'm actually at work. At least in the physical sense. But that's because I can't stand lying in when I'm not completely handicapped from disease. I get bored very easily when I don't feel good but not so bad that I'm crippled. I can't read or write, but I listen a lot to the radio. And I doze off. So I'm not doing much work, but then I'm not taking any pay for it either.
I've been sick for three or four days now, coming in to work only to read about conspiracy theories, new bigfoot material and listen to the Ricky Gervais show. For two nights in a row I dreamed, half-awake, about being crushed by a giant credit card the length of about my arms stretched out. Psychosomatic, no doubt, as I'm snug under the green and heavy military wool blanket. Then there was something about three dimensional coordinates, down to four decimals, none of which I could clearly remember, although they seemed to have some sort of vital importance..
I feel like a zombie. My body is all mush and stooped like a drug addict's, I can't really communicate with anyone, and I've got a peculiar hunger for minced meat, brain tissue and what have you. May be because my brain is trying to evacuate piecemeal through my nose. They made pasta in the cafeteria yesterday. Usually I'm all like: yippe! But I was like: Where's the dead cow innit? At least it wasn't ravioli.
Last night I reached a higher state of feverish consciousness. I'm always unsure of whether I'm really ill or if I'm just imagining things (usually a consequence of fever), so I trap myself in endless debates with myself on the subject matter of me being ill or not. Exhausting debates. I sometimes hit the pillow in pure agony. I knew there had to be something wrong, since everybody else outside were huddling together while I was sweating like a dog in a chinese restaurant. And freezing. Anyway, I was lying there dozing off after a pretty long session, regarding the inconsistency of sweating and freezing at the same time in terms of molecular movement, when I noticed that I had my mouth wide open.
I remembered a documentary that I'd seen the week before called Deadly Summer. It was from the Luangwa riverbed in Zambia that dries out for six months of the year, and about how three of the most dangerous animals in Africa are squeezed together in a tiny spot, at the most critical time of the year; the hippo, the lion and the crocodile. In Zambia the temperatures can get so high that if warm-blooded animals don't have access to shade and water, their brain will literally cook and probably leave them to die as a consequence of irrationality (wandering confused around in the sun etc). But warm-blooded animals can also regulate their own temperature, given enough water, something the crocodile can't. This is why we often see crocodiles lying on the riverbed with their mouths open. Well, you won't see that by the rivers here in Oslo, but you know what I mean.
I realized that that was the exact same thing that I was doing; lying there on my pillow with my mouth wide open. That's when I understood what was going on and why I was feeling so bad. I had turned into a cold-blooded mammal, for some reason. It made perfect sense. And it also explained my craving for minced meat.
I dozed off again, lying perfectly still beneath the surface of my wool blanket, waiting for an antilope to come and have a drink..
On a side note, did you know that the most dangerous animal in the world to human beings, except for other human beings, is the hippo? Each year hippos kill more people than lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos combined. I don't really blame them. They must be the most miserable animals I know of apart from koalas, the latter being miserable because it can never get a girlfriend because it's so cute.
I can connect with that.
Hippos are fat, ugly and destined to spend all of their lives in a puddle that is over-crowded with their own relatives. Not much room for artistic expression or individualism there. Not room for anything, really. If you're a hippo, you will never have free space for a hobby, like stamp collecting, without some ol' relative poking their nose in. Or stepping on everything. No wonder they are so aggressive.
If I was a hippo, I'd kill anyone coming near me right now. I'd just lean on them.
.. which reminds me, I've been invited to a family gathering at my grandmother's this weekend. Just like hippos, we'll be forced to live together, eat and sleep together, although I've never seen hippos pitch up a lavvo (traditional sami tent) to grill pork ribs out in the winter cold. But I must tell ya. If I don't get any better health-wise, I will not be going. Feeling like I do now, I'm pretty good, in terms of I'm not gonna die right now after all. But that's not the equivalent of being ready for some long-lost relatives hugging me and asking inquisitive questions about my studies. I'm not up for that at all. I wouldn't stand to "have fun" right now. I'd just lean on them.
posted by Sigg3 @ 2:01 pm
15.02.07 (category: links)
Yes! Finally! They updated my work bio page!
LOTD: Sigbjørn S. Å, Consultant
I asked them to write that ages ago, but I had never thought they would actually comply. Read it and weep, mankind. I don't think anyone has ever had such a cool bio page at their workplace. If you have one, put a link up in the comments. Kick ass.
posted by Sigg3 @ 1:42 pm
People want to know how I spent Valentine's Day. Let me just say first and foremost that I don't condone American holidays such as this, or Halloween, in a country where they have no historical tradition whatsoever. We hardly have any catholics at all.
On the other hand you could say the idea behind Valentine's, if you rule out marketing and consumerism, is love, and I would be a fool to be against love. I don't just encourage love, I promote it. But why do we have to have a day for it? Why can't all days be about love? Why can't all we do be about love? That brings us back to marketing and consumerism.
Cocoa added sugar and a handful of vegetation, in poor lighting. Romantic.
I spent Valentine's like you're supposed to. Did some work, went out for a dinner and saw a movie. But I was all on my own. Did I feel bad about it? Not at all. I was alone, yes, but I wasn't lonely. Some times you need some time alone, and you need to do stuff on your own. Besides, I'm not sure Stalker is the best movie to go to if you want to taste some of that sweet, sweet love. It got me thinking, though, and before I knew it I'd written an essay-monologue keeping in the spirit. Yet again I remembered why I go to the Cinemateque at all. For inspiration. Good experience there.
Today I got my hair cut. It grows really fast, and when I told the hairdresser that I cut it back to 4mm before x-mas she didn't believe me. She was cute, and she'd picked the wrong top for a job where you have to bend over. I got my hair cut and some top class cleavage, for nothing more than 100 NOK. I should have asked her to be my Valentine.
I would normally have waited to get this done, because it's one of those things that I don't really understand. My hair growth (on the head) is phenomenal, so I barely see the point. I go from curly teddy bear to nazi and back to curly teddy bear again. But I've got a big dinner tonight. My workplace is celebrating a 25 year anniversary, and there's going to be speeches, dinner, drinks and dancing. Can't have a fluffy hair when you're dining with the Prime Minister of Norway.
Don't believe me? Check out his calendar. No big deal, he held a speech at the summer party too. I hope the Minister of Cultural Affairs is there, 'cause I slagged him off the last time I saw him, and I didn't really mean to. I had just spent half an hour arguing with an arrogant prick from the US Embassy that I felt inclined to throw off the balcony we were standing on. For the sake of the human race. Or just for fun.
No, but seriously, I don't dine with the rich and wealthy, I dine because there's plenty of good food that I don't have to pay for. It's not that I'm cheap. I'm not. If I catch you, baby, you won't know what hit you. But I'm still a man, and as a man I grab every opportunity I can get for a free meal. Or free beer. I've read that the entrance fee for this conference is above the 3000 NOK mark (more than $485 USD, €370 or 3765 Chinese Yuan Renminbi, if you're in China). It's an expensive dinner that I would only pay for for a woman I really cared about. Now I get it for free. And if it weren't for the occasional eating out I would certainly have died a long time ago from malnutrition. It's a matter of personal health. I'm obliged to go. So I got a haircut.
posted by Sigg3 @ 12:36 pm
13.02.07 (category: thoughts)
One of the co-workers brought with her baby to work today. She's on mama-leave, so the only reason she dropped by was to show it off. This happens every time a chick's got herself a baby here, and all the women in the building loom over the poor thing with glittering diamond eyes. They want one of their own, obviously. I don't blame them. Babies are fun creatures. They are like small versions of ourselves, but without any of the financial, inter-social or sexual worries that we have. They also seem to reduce the inbred futility or pessimism that goes with the non-believing western culture, only to replace it with the tranquility which was denied prior to giving birth.
It's a good thing introducing the baby here, though, as the place is teeming with highly differentiated bacterial cutltures. A child which isn't subjected to this, or grows up in a completely sterile environment, will certainly be digging its own grave.
This lil' girl wasn't born that long ago, so she didn't really interact or anything. As a philosopher and independent thinker I too worship these little bundles of joy, but I prefer the stage where eye contact begins to mean something to them. I've had lengthy discussions with a baby who knew how to talk, but not what words were. It's been written a lot about it in continental philosophy, existentialism, and even though they don't know it - modern researchers are following in its footsteps, mapping the contact between mother (with others) and child that demands a self in the selfless baby. Interesting stuff.
It struck me that the girl holding it, this American chick who likes to play the sadist role, was completely mush. It didn't fool me for a second. Nor the baby, for that matter, as a look of terror gleamed from the huddling baby clothing. But on the other hand, I'm not fooled by the sadist role either. You might think you are something else than human, but mother nature's miracles always bring us back to our point of departure - the selfless self - only to realize that there are no such thing as a miracle. We've just been led astray by ideas. Old woman zen.
Sorry, I've been reading the Upanishads lately, and I'm quite taken by it, although it seems to me like a compromise between buddhism and socio-cultural world order. A failing compromise, as such, as there are no such things as compromises. There is one thing, another thing and a third thing. A constellation of ideas is nought.
posted by Sigg3 @ 12:47 pm
09.02.07 (category: links)
1. Big Day Out by Paul McGuire
We did not have a hotel room in Surfer's Paradise with fewer than 18 hours before we were scheduled to board a flight to Coolangota Airport on Australia’s Gold Coast. We were caught up with work in Melbourne and waited to the last minute to book a room...
2. A.M. by Nick Cantwell
Disoriented at first, then a realization. Lisa. No Liz. Yeah that's it - Liz. She's naked. Sound asleep...
3. My Clog by Gracie Logan
When my film's start time drew near, my clogs and I said good-bye to the sunny afternoon. We purchased one ticket (my clogs travel free) and entered the inviting cool darkness that is the lobby of the Music Box Theatre...
4. Emilio Estevez Is Born by BTreotch
Joe Estevez was in a pickle, he knew Janet was in the midst of some invisible shrimp tickle. Scooping her into his arms, Joe got an erection and asked where the ladies room was...
5. Title by May B. Yesno
On the inside boiled and roiled the heathenish and brutal trail of mangled flesh, from every direction, tokens of small bottles of human - and sometimes, from the early days, animals - blood...
From the Editor's Laptop:
Welcome back to the another installment of Truckin'. May B. Yesno is back with a wicked tale. Nick Cantwell shares another poem. This issue features BTreotch's first Truckin' contribution which is a hilarious story about Emilio Estevez along with a clog story from Sweet Sweet Gracie. I spent a month in Australia and I have the first of many Oz-inspired stories. Stay tuned for more. - Pauly
posted by Sigg3 @ 12:36 pm
I have a hard time updating versions of Symantec AV that's lagging behind in terms of virus definitions. The servers don't seem to respond at all, and even less so during the evenings (when the US has awoke). This is a message I got last night when I gave up and turned off instead of waiting for it to ping the symantec servers:
Liveupdate is aborting.
It can take a few moments cleaning up.
08.02.07 (category: computerwelt)
When a new laptop to my department arrives, regardless if it's for homeuse or not, I'm the one to set it up. We mostly buy our shit from Dell, which is not great, but less expensive. There are some models I even like. But whenever we have to buy outside of our Dell business portal, there are lots of adware and trial versions I have to remove. Sometimes it's almost painless, in Safe mode that is, but other times - like today - it's hell. Especially when it comes to McAfee products.
The McAfee company even writes themselves that they don't guarantee that their own uninstaller tool works. I've found that it works in most occasions, if you boot into safemode. Just not today. It threw up an error related to IE's script handling:
Error: Type mismatch:'CDbl'
06.02.07 (category: thoughts)
Today's my ethnical holiday! W00t! Some of you may not be aware of this, but although I've got a red passport (Norwegian) I'm also an ethnic sami. My mother has told me that when she went to Florida as an exchange student, the schoolbooks said: "The Samis are the cowboys of Norway". They left out Sweden, Finland and Russia. But we're nothing like Brokeback mountain, and there weren't any cows around either, so I don't really see the link there. If you count out the lasso, that is. Studies of culture and DNA shows that we're closer to the Native American, on the other hand. Interesting link.
Apart from my biological origins I don't know much about it. Those in my family who could talk and think Sami are growing old and refuse to talk about it. When the North was occupied in large scale by Lutheran Norwegian settlers, they introduced alcohol to the indigenous, and made being Sami a shameful thing. Lest not forget the witchcraft accusations.
I've only been to reindeer slaughter once, I've read a single book about sami beliefs, but I've also witnessed how it actually works. The stories about the noaidie (a shaman) called Kaaven are definite favourites. Today most samis live in Oslo, and Norwegians are even more ignorant than I am about the culture.
Not a single person has congratulated, most people probably don't even know about it, and the largest Norwegian newspapers barely mention it in a note at the bottom of a page. Of course I celebrate 17th of May, the national holiday of Norway, too. Like I said, I still have a red passport. But if Norway's politics swing further to the right I will probably apply for another citizenship, Sami being on the top of that list.
posted by Sigg3 @ 1:45 pm
02.02.07 (category: news)
I was reading slashdot this morning, and for some reason (probably because of the geek factor) they ran a story regarding the release date of the last Harry Potter book. Great. Maybe we can move on now, and forget this embarrasing part of our history. Let's just all agree to never mention the name of Potter or Rowling again, okay?
But reading the summary (never read TFA) you could hear the tubes of the internet clog, as Harry Potter related jokes rushed through the pipes world-wide causing the world wide web to bend in virtual gravity. Among the many "Potter dies on page 523. I just saved you $29." t-shirt jokes and "OMG!1Ponies!1111!1" comments, I was hurled to these pictures: Harry Potter. Naked. With a horse.
That is the most revolting thing I have seen all week. To illustrate; when I went home at around eleven or twelve p.m. last night, I accidently caught a hooker giving some family guy a blow-job in his car right outside the church. For real. But the pictures above are worse. The horse doesn't help. Today I saw pictures of myself. Didn't even come close. So to make that up to myself, I passed them along to my brother Koew:
Koew: hang on
Sigg3: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows release date announced!
Sigg3: /. headline:p
[Koew gets there..]
Koew: hahah the boss walked right in
Koew: and wondered what the pictures were
Koew: with the horse
Koew: I was just errrr....
Koew: wtf was I supposed to say
Koew: she was "What are those pictures?"
Koew: first I went totally quiet
Koew: couldn't remove the site when she'd first seen 'em
Sigg3: yeah, what did you say?
Koew: but I got back in the saddle
Koew: said that it was Harry Potter!
Sigg3: nude. with a horse.
Sigg3: this is blogged
Koew: fuck you
In other news... there's been some undercover shit going on in my street this week. Well, not only this week. I hope someone from the Oslo police department are reading this. Do you know the white van? The one that you survey the hood with, parking at the same spot every time? The one with undercover cops in it?
Everybody knows about it.
You want to know how we figured it out? Well, maybe you should train your undercover cops not to have casual chats with passing police vehicles, eh? No one in this area have casual chats with the police. Have you read the grafiti 'round here?
Three nights ago I worked over-time and got home at around one a.m in the morning. Five un-covered police officers were hanging outside a building talking to someone. Kept my head down and didn't think much of it, even though it was two blocks down. I'm getting used to this. But then, the night after at around the same time, they were there again. Except there was about ten of them, in two police vans, wearing combat armor! They even had those see-thru shields!
Something had gone down, and they were packing up their sci-fi equipment when I passed them. I must have looked a bit worried, or at least interested, as one of the guys beckoned to me from across the street: Nothing to worry about! Yeah. Let me guess. That's why you're wearing combat armor from the Starship Troopers movie, right? Don't think they caught anyone, though. I could see some disappointed faces behind the anti-terror masks.
In even other news... they took new photos for the employees at work today. Even I had to do it. I mean, I'm an IT consultant, so the only time you're gonna see me is either at lunch or as a little icon on the skype contact list. Good to have a picture then. But it was quite fun. The photographer was really cute, I bet she couldn't be much older than me, and she kept saying that I looked really good on camera. What's that word? Photogenic. I disagree, but I thought I'd share one with you anyway, since it's weekend and all.
Yup, that's me, wearing my James Dean leather jacket and my rabbit fur hat. Like I use to say; any man with respect for himself should wear clothes that had to be killed first. Besides, it's freakin' cold in Oslo these days.. I also added my head without the hat, as you can see, so you don't have to wonder whether I've got hair or not. I hope they use the one with the hat for the employee web page. Kick ass!
Have a nice weekend, folks!
posted by Sigg3 @ 2:38 pm
01.02.07 (category: links)
The French environmental organization called L'Alliance pour la Planète is encouraging everyone to take part in the greatest mobilization of the citizens of the world, to amass greater awareness among people, politicians and the media regarding power consumption. In the demonstration simply called Action! they ask all of us to turn off our electrical devices, light, heating etc. on February the 1st 2007 between 19:55 and 20:00
Link of the day: www.lalliance.fr (English translation)
Take part in the greatest mobilization of citizens against the Climate Change!
«Alliance pour la Planète» (french group of environmental associations) give a simple call to all the citizens, 5 minutes of respite for planet:
Everybody turn off its stand-by devices and lights on February 1, 2007 between 19h55 and 20h00. It is not meant to save 5 minutes of energy only on that day, but to draw the attention of the citizens, media and decision makers on the waste of energy and the urgency to take action!
5 minutes of respite for ourplanet: it does not require a long time, it does not cost anything, and most important: it will show to the politicians that the climate change is a subject which must weigh in the political debate.
Why on February 1? On that day in Paris, the new Report from climate change experts from the United Nations will come out (Fourth Assessment Report "Climate Change 2007", IPCC). This event will take place in France: one should not miss this occasion to point out the light on the urgency of the world climate situation. If we all take of it, this action will have a real mediatic and political impact, less than three months before the presidential election!
Translate in your own language, forward this call to the maximum of persons around you and in all your family and surroundings...