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23rd-May-2016 10:10 pm - They Say It's My Birthday
Thanks to everyone for the lovely birthday wishes!

I had a nice lunch with Gretchen around getting the oil changed in my car (because you've got to do the maintenance on the auto; a quiet lunch with Gretchen is a fine thing too!). I walked over to the school and picked up Katie and Julie when school let out. And then we had a fine dinner and birthday cake.

It was a good day.
22nd-May-2016 04:52 pm - Still Ticking
I had some entertainment with Avira Antivirus on the the new computer, but I think that's resolved now. (It refused to update virus definitions, which is a bad thing in an antivirus product.)

Many, many things have been copied from the old computer and many bits of software have been installed on the new one.

At this point, I'm thinking about taking the old computer off of the desk and wiring it up in the basement, since I can get to it with both a network connection for moving files and Remote Desktop if I need to run some program that I've missed moving. This is otherwise known as "I'd really like to get the surface of my desk back."

And the new computer feels zippy fast in a great many operations, which is encouraging.
21st-May-2016 10:07 am - Getting It Together
So I'm sitting here with the new computer and:

  • Shaving
  • Installing my old version of Adobe Creative Suite
  • Reading about Yadier Molina's possible Hall of Fame candidacy
  • Getting ready to take Katie and Julie out for Picture Day for the softball league
  • And taking time out to post

    Multitasking. Apparently, it is for breakfast!
  • 20th-May-2016 11:43 pm - Closer to Done
    The video card was installed, the assorted cables were plugged in, and the new computer is now sitting on my desk near the old computer as Windows 10 works its way through installation and updates. So far, so good.

    Although it was disconcerting when I had to grab the motherboard driver CD to get a network driver that would work with Windows 10...
    19th-May-2016 11:05 pm - Hubris: Part 2
    So after work today, I went back to assembling the new computer. I finally figured out how to put the heat sink on, did so, and discovered that the way that I'd installed it was going to make access to the memory slots problematic. Well, I could always turn the heat sink ninety degrees. I just had to unscrew it.

    And one of the bolts came loose. Which meant that I had to uninstall the motherboard again so that I could put the mounting bolt for the heat sink back on. That made four.

    However, the heat sink is now installed. And so is the RAM. And the hard drives and Blu-ray drive have been put in, various connectors have been connected to the motherboard, and the end of the beginning is in sight.

    I still need to install the video card and all of the power cables, plus scavenge a SATA cable for the Blu-ray drive from my stash.

    And then we'll bring the beastie upstairs, hook it into the KVM switch, and power it up.

    I hope.
    18th-May-2016 11:30 pm - Hubris
    After explaining to someone on the GT list how easy it is to assemble a new computer from parts, I got hammered for hubris tonight.

    We got back from Julie's softball game (where she acquitted herself well enough to get a game ball!) and I set out to start putting the machine together, the parts having arrived today. Piece of cake.

    I have now installed the motherboard three times:

  • Once, because it's the first part you put in.
  • Again, because I had to take it back out to screw in the aftermarket heat sink that I'd bought.
  • A third time, because some of the standoffs that I'd screwed into the case had become stripped during the two previous installations.


    On the other hand, I think it is now in the case to stay.

    I hope.
  • 17th-May-2016 10:50 pm - Windycon and Softball
    I had a Windycon meeting tonight, which meant that Gretchen got to take Katie and Julie to Katie's softball game in NW Chicago tonight.

    Tomorrow night, both girls have a softball game. Fortunately, I don't have a Windycon meeting. :)
    My increasingly creaky home computer in the office is getting increasingly creaky. I have replaced essentially everything on the machine except for the motherboard, CPU, and RAM. Well, and the case. This has led me to refer to it as George Washington's Computer after George Washington's Ax, which George Washington actually used himself. The blade's been replaced three times and the handle's been replaced five times, but it's still George Washington's Ax.

    George Washington's Computer is a bit over eight years old now and has found a new trick of just freezing and shutting down. When one of these incidents occurred recently, the computer rebooted and complained of a corrupt BIOS. So I went in and fixed the settings. But this suggests to me that one of the major motherboard components is creeping up on end-of-life and that it's time to get a new machine.

    Late Saturday night, I priced out a new set of components -- which, as I expected, cost just about the same as the components that I bought the last time that I built a new machine for my home office eight years ago. They are, however, faster and provide more storage and RAM.

    The new parts should show up on Thursday. Then I can build the replacement machine, install the software, transfer everything over, and ease George Washington's Computer into a gentle retirement.

    All things considered, eight years is pretty good. :)
    15th-May-2016 11:13 pm - Aches and Pains
    After the series of rainouts, the coach for Julie's team suggested getting together as many players as we could for a siblings and parents vs. the team game. The weather having decided to cooperate this afternoon, the plan came together.

    At this level, the teams supply their own pitcher and I volunteered to pitch to the team of siblings and parents. I turn out to be pretty good at soft-tossing meatballs up there and an appropriate amount of hitting occurred.

    I am, however, a bit sore now. I think aspirin is in my future. :)
    14th-May-2016 11:03 pm - Civil War
    Given the mass cancellation of softball today, Gretchen gave me a pass to go out and see Captain America: Civil War today while she stayed home and watched the girls. As she reminded me, I owe her one. Likely a large one.

    Mild spoilers inside the cut tag, but probably nothing that you couldn't glean from the trailers...
    Yes, really. Spoilers. Little ones.Collapse )
    We got up early today to get Katie and Julie to their softball games -- a single game for Katie, a doubleheader for Julie.

    They've been canceled, because the fields are too wet to play on. It's also a windy 50 degrees (according to our backyard thermometer), so the wind chills would be entertaining at best.

    So far this year, Julie has played one game -- that concluded early due to rain! -- while Katie has played two.

    They're going to see if they can make up Julie's games tomorrow. We'll see how that goes...
    13th-May-2016 10:50 pm - The Weather Forecast
    Katie and Julie have three softball games scheduled between them tomorrow.

    Naturally, it is raining tonight.

    We'll see what shape the diamonds are in tomorrow morning.
    12th-May-2016 10:12 pm - Fields of Mud
    Julie's softball game on Tuesday was canceled due to an excessively wet field and rain. Her softball game today was canceled due to a different excessively wet field. Now they're looking for a drier field for Saturday's doubleheader.

    It's being awfully rainy around here.
    11th-May-2016 10:49 pm - Cranking Along
    I think we have now gotten all of the changes to the XML engine squared away, although I'll have to keep an eye on it. I have also fixed a couple of large and small bugs that I introduced during conversion.

    The championship bug that I found today though was one that I think has been there since the particular module was written which caused all errors to report out as "Unknown exception". Such a deal! And it's fixed. Now. :)
    10th-May-2016 10:28 pm - No New Puppies Here
    Ruby made the trip to the vet today for basic repairs, which is to say that she is now old enough to be spayed and the deed is now done.

    Ruby is resting comfortably.
    9th-May-2016 11:03 pm - Tired
    Despite being fabulously tired today, I managed to get some useful work done.

    Now it's time to get some sleep.
    8th-May-2016 10:35 pm - Homeward Bound
    It is far too late to be this far from home. :)

    In this case, that would be just past Warsaw, Indiana.
    7th-May-2016 11:55 pm - Contact With the Enemy
    Things did not go exactly according to plan today, but I'm having a good time. :)

    And Debbie Gates is the newest member of the DI.
    6th-May-2016 11:55 pm - Marcon
    We drove down to Marcon this morning, got lunch, and got moved into the Dealers Room. The room didn't close until 9 PM and by the time I got dinner, I was too tired to filk.

    Tomorrow, though...
    5th-May-2016 11:55 pm - I'm Late
    I was monstrously late getting out of town today and hit nasty traffic. But eventually I made it to Erica and Steve's.

    See some of you at Marcon!
    4th-May-2016 11:55 pm - Bill vs. The Hardware
    I'm leaving for Marcon tomorrow, so it's time to be updating all of the devices that are going with me. This means ripping all of the newly acquired CDs for the table into iTunes and loading them into the company iPod. The ripping went pretty well. The loading into the iPod, not so much.

    I fought and fought with the stupid device, trying to get Windows 10 to recognize it as anything other than a hard drive. And then I found the webpage that suggested trying a real Apple cable instead of the patchwork that I was using.

    The iPod happily popped up in iTunes and was trivially synced.


    Meanwhile, one of the two Samsung tablets that we use at the table had been turned off before being stored, so it had charge in it. It happily updated the 20+ applications that needed to be updated since the last time we used it.

    The other had not been turned off and was completely discharged. Even after charging, it refused to update anything. Finally, in desperation, I punched up the browser on the tablet to find out what to do.

    And the browser refused to browse, because the tablet had discharged so far that it thought that it was December 31, 2011.

    So I reset the date.

    And the browser browsed.

    And the Play Store updated all of the apps.

    It's being like that...
    3rd-May-2016 11:55 pm - When Web Interfaces Go South
    Oh, good. The interface between the season ticket information for the Cubs and StubHub has now broken down completely, after first allowing me to list one game at a time instead of sending across multiple games at once. This makes selling excess tickets so much more fun.

    What was even better was the StubHub chat rep who suggested that I use Google Chrome (which I was already using) and that I should reboot my computer (which would get me out of her chat window and into someone else's when that didn't work).

    2nd-May-2016 11:42 pm - Bike Acquired
    Today, after a bit of Internet research, we went out and bought Julie the bike that would suit her for her birthday to replace the one she has outgrown.

    And there was much rejoicing. :)
    1st-May-2016 10:30 pm - Julie Is Eight
    Julie turned eight today.

    Julie has been begging me to take her to a Cubs game. As it happened, I still had the tickets for today's game, so I headed down to Wrigley Field with Julie, knowing that it was not a fit day out for man nor beast.

    We lasted three and a half innings. This was somewhat more than I had expected, as it was positively frigid with the wind blowing in off the lake, despite parkas, jackets, and an inadequate (but welcome!) blanket.

    After dinner tonight at Red Robin (where we had a truly wonderful waiter), we went shopping for a new bike for Julie. Sadly, I couldn't find what I wanted for her at the store we went to, but some on-line research has located what I believe to be the correct bike at a different store, so Gretchen and the girls will head there after school tomorrow to pick it up.

    It has been an amazing eight years.

    I love you, Julie.

    (And, Katie, I love you too, but your birthday is not for six months. :) )
    30th-Apr-2016 08:39 pm - Julie's Birthday Party
    We had Julie's birthday party a day early today. There weren't quite as many kids as we might have hoped due to a wide variety of conflicts, but the girls who were here had a fine time, so that's good.

    It was a Frozen-themed party (still!) and the snowball fight, courtesy of Gretchen's sewing skills, was spectacular!
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