Ah, the joy of logic.

Some people complain about biased newsmedia.

The newsmedia operate in a free market as for-profit enterprises.

It is reasonable to assume that the majority of the market favors the existing media model, since, in a free market, entities that produce inferior or unpalatable products will lose market share to those who produce superior or more palable products.

Therefore, anyone who complains about biased newsmedia must have expectations that do not reflect the majority of the market.

The market is never wrong.

What to set on my IBM T22…

…so that I will get actual ACPI?

I played around with my laptop this morning, after I got back from dropping Anne off at work (she took her car in for service today).

I installed the HostAP driver for my wireless card, as opposed to the orinoco driver that I’d been using–it almost works, but I think the problems may not actually be driver problems–as well as an updated ALSA driver, which has shut up a cosmetic message.

I compiled a kernel with ACPI, which is supposed to be the great APM-killer/cure for bad BIOS’. Unfortunately the ACPI tables seem to give the ACPI code indigestion, so it doesn’t actually enable itself properly.

That’s probably why the PCMCIA slots on my laptop don’t work, while those on the docking station do. Oh, well, at least the ALSA and HostAP stuff look OK. More as I know more.

When I was…um…13…


(I had no memory of the exact time until I read the dates off the paperwork)

…I went to Berlin. This was 1983, well before the wall came down, and my father’s mother and sister and her husband had all come to visit–we’d been in Germany a little over two years at that time–and so we all went to Berlin.

Berlin was an interesting place, although like so much of our time in Europe, I really wasn’t old enough to truly appreciate it. It was definitely the biggest city I’d ever been in, even with a wall running through it.

I guess it says how much of a geek I am that, although I do have some fuzzy memories of seeing the Berlin Flughaven, and Checkpoint Charlie and KaDeWe, and the wall itself, my most immediate memory is actually of sitting on the troop train in…Frankfurt, I guess, although that could be wrong, waiting to leave, reading the new issue of Compute! magazine.

And no, I never actually got to see East Berlin. In order to be sure to not get picked up by the Stasi for spying, Allied service personnel had to wear full unform when actually in East Berlin. My dad forgot his regulation tie, and had nowhere he could get another, and we were advised that it would be best not to take any chances–if it wasn’t a regulation tie, it was better not to go.

Anyway, this reminiscence was provoked by going by a box of old stuff in my closet (part of the aforementioned office cleanup project), and finding a copy of the orders that were required for us to be able to cross East Germany to get to West Berlin via the troop train.

The individual images are kinda big (300K+), so be warned.

Reeling in the years…

So, as part of my ongoing quest to have as spare an office as possible (you must understand that I mean spare by my usually cluttered standards–I do not intend to get rid of, say, the four large bookcases full of books, or the several hundred CDs, say; I just want to get rid of all the superfluous shit), I often grab a stack of old magazines I’ve kept around, and start going through them, looking for anything worth cutting out, and recycling the rest.

Yesterday I did some WebTechniques from 1999-2001, and boy, were they amusing–very much of their Internet-bubble time, and rife with flavor-of-the-month software and technology that no one even thinks about any more.

Today I started in on my old Dr. Dobb’s Journal. The oldest issues I have are from ’97 (I have the CD-ROM that had the text of articles up to that point), but boy, even that’s a heck of a time capsule–for instance, one of the big articles has to do with the Pentium II math bug, which I hadn’t thought about in years.

Also of interest are some of the authors, who I now know of from different contexts–for instance, I just noticed a C++ article from Nathan Meyers, who I know from both the gcc development list (not suprising), and from the occasional Debian list.

What’s really wierd, though, is how irrelevant it all it seems to me in retrospect. You have to understand, this is a magazine I’ve been reading off and on–mostly on, though I let my subscription lapse a couple of months ago for the first time in a decade–since I was, say, 15. That is more than half my life.

And yet, the vast majority of the stuff in these issues I’m looking at hasn’t had much to offer me–I mean, I do believe that some of it has indirectly made me a better programmer, if only by making me cognizant of some of the “big picture” issues of programming, or talking about language- and platform-neutral issues and such.

I guess this really drives home to me that I work outside the mainstream, and I don’t have any desire to move towards the mainstream. Dr. Dobb’s had become a magazine where articles were either oriented towards the mainstream–programming Windows stuff, or how to use whatever new Java interface Sun has dreamed up–or they were too specific to do anything for me–how to compute elliptic curves across 3D spaces or other such hyper-specialized stuff. So I don’t read it any more.

Wierd.

At least there were no Ewoks

I’ve never been any sort of partisan of the The Matrix and its follow-ons.

Honestly, I didn’t even see it until it had been out on DVD for at least a couple of months, and although I thought it was a fine adventure flick, I certainly didn’t think it was quite deserving of the rabid following it developed–just about anything The Matrix seems to get cited for, I think Philip K. Dick did better.

Still, when Matrix Reloaded came out, I did actually go see it at a matinee, and while I thought it got mired down in exposition that sounded like it was right out of 50s pulps, it had some visuals that were interesting and wasn’t really, well, bad, so I didn’t feel cheated or anything. Maybe that would have been different if I hadn’t gone to a matinee.

However, Matrix Revolutions, really leaves me cold. It’s not a horrible sequel, per se–it’s hard to have a truly horrible sequel without Ewoks, or obvious Ewok stand-ins–but it succeeded in being boring even when there was action going on. Quantity of shell casings do not translate to interest, no matter how much you want it to. Chase scenes with zillions of sentinels, no matter how important the outcome is to the future of the human race, have already been done. Neo and Trinity’s tender moment: vomit.

Glad I went to the cheap show.

Chili Recipe

From: hartmans@mediaone.net (Jack and Kay Hartman)
Subject: Re: REQ: Vegitarian Chili Recipe Please
Date: 1999/04/08
Message-ID: <370c4b58.59101453@nntp.we.mediaone.net>#1/1
References: <370a0a15.4637265@news.cyberbeach.net> <370BA9CF.2769@ic.ac.uk>
X-Trace: clnws01.we.mediaone.net 923552813 24.130.84.29 (Wed, 07 Apr 1999 23:26:53 PDT)
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 07 Apr 1999 23:26:53 PDT
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

On Wed, 07 Apr 1999 11:54:07 -0700, "A.Ferszt" <aferszt @ic.ac.uk>
wrote:

>Marmalade_Man wrote:
>>
>> Looking for a Vegitarian Chili Recipe.
>
>Actually any chile recipe you find in a normal cookbook will do...just
>leave out the meat and add beans or tofu or Quorn or soy chunks instead.

Here's one that we like.  This recipe is from the July 1993 Bon Appetit.

Kay

Vegetarian Chili with Chipotle Chiles

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped carrot

1 cup chopped red or green bell pepper

1 cup chopped onion

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1 28-ounce can Italian-style pluc tomatoes with juices, chopped

1 15- to 16-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained

1 15- to 16-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained

1 15- to 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained

2 tablespoons canned chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.  Add carrot, 
bell pepper, onion and garlic and saute until vegetables are light
golden, about 10 minutes.  Add chili powder and cumin and stir 2
minutes.  Add tomatoes, red, white and black beans and chipotle chiles
and bring mixture to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are
tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.  Thin with water if
mixture is too thick.  Season chili to taste with salt and pepper.</aferszt>