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Florida Hurricane Reality
Any day now, you may turn on the TV and see a weather person pointing to some blob of clouds out in the Atlantic Ocean and making two basic meteorological points: There is no need to panic. We could all be killed. Yes, hurricane season is an exciting time to be in Florida. If you're new to the area, you're probably wondering what you need to do to prepare for the possibility that we'll get hit by "the big one." Based on our experiences, we recommend that you follow this simple three-step hurricane ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 24, 2004 8:22 PM

The Rules of Spam

In case you were never aware of them, you can find the full set of Rules, Admonitions, Corollaries, Commentaries and Explanations here.  The main Rules are:

Rule #0: Spam is theft.
Rule #1: Spammers lie.
Rule #2: If a spammer seems to be telling the truth, see Rule #1.
Rule #3: Spammers are stupid.
Rule #4: The natural course of a spamming business is to go bankrupt.

Posted On Saturday, August 21, 2004 2:29 PM

30 Things We Learned from Hurricane Charley
The Orlando Sentinel (subscription required) ran a great story this morning about things we learned from Hurricane Charley. Here is their list (slightly modified to remove some specific local references). Water is a comfort food, but 3-day-old Cheetos are too. We shouldn't complain about all the "useless" tools in the garage -- we actually DO need a generator. You can't spell "priceless" without I-C-E. Shadow animals on the wall -- still fun! It's your God-given right to sit on your back porch and ......

Posted On Saturday, August 21, 2004 10:29 AM

Nautical Terminology: Cut and Run
Most often thought to mean the cutting of an anchor line in an effort to make a quick getaway, whether from storm or pirates.  It is hard to imagine that many ship's masters enjoyed routinely losing an anchor or two, so it more likely refers to the practice of securing the sails of a square-rigged ship with rope yarns that could easily be cut away when a quick departure was necessary.

Posted On Friday, August 20, 2004 7:07 PM

For Sale: Star Trek Paintings by Boris Vallejo
I have not done this before, but I would like to post an advertisement. The unusual thing is that these are unique, one-of-a-kind items that will appeal to a rather narrow group. I have two full-size oil paintings by Boris Vallejo that were used as Star Trek (first series) paperback book covers for the novels Dreadnought! and Strangers From the Sky. I am selling both. There are some pictures here along with an email address or use the blog feedback. I prefer to do a direct turnover with a form of ......

Posted On Thursday, August 19, 2004 11:05 PM

Hurricane Charley Survival Lessons
When a hurricane approaches, a computer literate individual (geek) has extra work to do. While most people just bring in the loose outdoor material, the geek also needs to prepare electronic systems. As a point of reference, we live a little east of Orlando. The center of the eye passed to our west, but we were inside the eye wall, so we got hit with the best winds the storm still had to offer with a steady wind of 90 MPH and gusts to 105 MPH. Here are a few things to keep in mind about storms. Power ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 18, 2004 6:57 PM

Microsoft Bob = Abandonware
When I look at my referrers list, I am amazed at the number of people who still search for this abandoned Microsoft product and find my post on Microsoft's April Fool MSDN RSS listing. (Hint for all you searchers --- it was a joke. The program was not posted for download.) I was reminded of this today by reading Dvorak's latest column on “The Bottom 10: Worst Software Disasters.” There, proudly at #10, is Microsoft Bob version 1.0a. In case you did not know, Microsoft Bob 1.0a combined the contents ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 17, 2004 9:17 AM

Service Packs and Hurricanes
Within the past few months, I repaved my machines, removing old versions of win98 and WinME, installing fresh copies of WinXP. I installed Windows XP SP2 on my machines and was pleased to find that all installations went without a hitch. I did not play with any of the Release Candidate bits, so I was underwhelmed by the much vaunted Security Center. I expected it to appear on my Start menu. Nope. I looked at the Start menu properties for a customization to make it appear. Nope. I finally found it ......

Posted On Friday, August 13, 2004 5:46 PM

Nautical Terminology: Sally Ship
"Sally ship" was not a ship, but a method of loosening a vessel that had run aground from the mud holding her fast. In the days before sophisticated navigation equipment, ships ran aground much more often than today. A grounded ship could be freed with little or no hull damage if she could be rocked out of her muddy predicament. To free her, the order was given to "sally ship". The crew gathered in a line along one side and then ran from port to starboard and back and forth until the vessel began ......

Posted On Sunday, August 8, 2004 10:07 PM

The Year That Was - 1904
The year was 1904 ... one hundred years ago. What a difference a century can make. Here are some of the statistics for 1904: The average life expectancy in the US was 47 years. Only 14 percent of the homes in the US had a bathtub. Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone. A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars. There were only 8,000 cars in the US, and only 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph. Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and ......

Posted On Thursday, August 5, 2004 7:13 AM

Defense Department Threat Response
As seen in the Pentagon... When faced with a 20-year threat, the government responds with a 15-year plan, in a six-year defense program, managed by three-year personnel, attempting to develop a two-year budget, which in reality is funded by a one-year appropriation (which is typically three to six months late), actually formulated over a three-day weekend, and approved in a one-hour decision briefing. ...or something like that. Shake well or stir before repeating annually ......

Posted On Thursday, August 5, 2004 7:00 AM

My SOHO RAID Plans Change
In Robert Burns "To A Mouse," the author said that the "The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley." In modern English, we render this as "the best laid plans of mice and men, oft' go awry." I remember reading the entire poem during high school long ago. I was reminded of that when I found the report I subsequently wrote for my English Literature class. Little did I know that the saying would apply very strongly to me. I wrote earlier that I intended to add a SATA RAID to ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 3, 2004 10:56 PM

My SOHO RAID Equipment
Case and Power Supply I chose an Antec SLK-3700 since it is a well-built, solid, and cost-effective case. For this upgrade, I went with the Antec SLK3700-BQE (the "Black Quiet Edition") because it offers four external 5.25" drive bays. Three of these bays will be occupied by the four-drive RAID enclosure and the fourth will hold the DVD. The case is essentially the same as their basic 3700, with a few extra tweaks. It's pitch black and employs several quiet features I like. The hard drives mount ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 3, 2004 10:43 PM

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