I paid only peripheral attention when it was announced on linux-kernel

But now I’m staring down the barrel of building a new box for holding a lot of media files, and suddenly, the notion of being able to expand your RAID5 array started to sound important–especially when the case I initially intend to use won’t hold more than 3 drives, but I would like to be able to expand later.

As is almost always the case in the geek community, someone has documented their experiences doing just this. Its sounds extraordinarily painless. Even resizing the filesystem on-line was a no-brainer.

So, the related question is whether or not the Areca hardware-raid card I have laying around is actually capable of doing this–the data sheet suggests that it’ll even convert, say, a mirrored drive pair to RAID5, but that mildly strains my credulity. I may have to actually, shudder, experiment.

You may remember _Point Break_…

or maybe you were lucky and sustained a blunt-force trauma to the head that swallowed that memory.

For those of you who remember it, though, you can catch an absurdist stage production, and, if you’re lucky, you could play Keanu’s part because the lead is selected from the audience each night, to:

read their entire script off of cue-cards. This method manages to capture the rawness of a Keanu Reeves performance, even from those who generally think themselves incapable of acting.

Oh, yeah.

Might _The 1/2 Hour News Hour_ succeed?

Mark Evanier (a funny guy in his own right, as co-creator of Groo the Wanderer (yes, there’s a Wikipedia article for it (YNCAN))) has a couple of points about the attempt to create a conservative version of The Daily Show.

The one that made me laugh was simply on conservative comedy:

It’s like (I’ve said this before) making a Marx Brothers movie and trying to make Margaret Dumont the funny one.

And, of course, there’s a much more devastating point:

The Executive Producer of The Half-Hour News Hour has been quoted as saying he looked around and didn’t see anyone making fun of Hillary or John Kerry. Which only tells us he’s never seen Jon Stewart’s show, the program he’s supposedly replicating.

And yeah, that producer is the same guy who produces 24, and who was written about in the recent New Yorker article wherein he suggests, among other things, that all those professional intelligence-gathering guys don’t know anything about interrogation, and really, they should do like Jack Bauer and just beat the information out of suspects.

Because you never pick up the wrong guy or anything.

Gaaah, I only read half the article on the web, finished it in the print edition last night, and I’m still vaguely nauseous.

The Comprehensive _Pogo_

Walt Kelly’s Pogo has never been collected in its entirety–something less than six years were collected by Fantagraphics in the ’90s, but that was something less than it’s full 24-year run.

Well, they’ve decided to do to Pogo what they did to Charles Schulz’ Peanuts (and several other strips)–“publish the whole run, in order, in a series of hardback books”:http://www.fantagraphics.com/blog/archive/2007_02_01_fantagraphics_archive.html#2583732417830212795.

I’ve heard reviews of Pogo that suggested that it wasn’t always as great as people remember it–and really, what is? But it’s hard to ignore a newspaper comic strip that was considered threatening enough that, “his [Kelly’s] phone was tapped and the US Government corresponded with a newspaper reporter who claimed that the eccentric patois Kelly created was a secret Russian code.”

It’s certainly a tempting option.

My uncomfortable relationship with Robert Heinlein

You know, if, at 18, I had needed to choose a favorite author, it would have been RAH, hands down. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve read everything he’s written except for his first novel (that was only published a couple of years ago).

So, a couple of months ago I was browsing my shelves and picked up Stranger In A Strange Land for the first time in probably a decade and a half.

Boy, it annoyed the crap out of me.

Now it’s funny, because I mentioned this on a mailing list I’m on, and someone who knew me in college mentioned that he found that interesting, since I had once said it was an incredibly important book that had changed my life.

The thing is, though, it did. And all the things in it that caused me to change are still there. But I couldn’t get over all the things about it that annoyed me so–the awe-inspiring condescension of the main characters towards everyone else, the spectacularly patronizing attitude towards women, oh, it drove me crazy. But you can draw a very straight line between what I believe now and what that book exposed me to.

Just the other day I picked up The Number of the Beast which I haven’t read in at least as long as Stranger, and found it absolutely unreadable. I skimmed it, but basically had to hold my nose to read any of it. And yet I remember liking it immensely.

There are others that I’ve read more recently than that that didn’t offend me. Basically, the simple adventure stories still work for me; there are things that occasionally annoy, but in the main they’re no worse than a lot of pre-new-wave SF. But most of his later novels–his largely “high-concept” output post-_Stranger_–I now find mostly unreadable, because of the absurd didacticism.

Except, and this surprises no one as much as me, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress and Starship Troopers. Yep, Heinlein’s famously “militaristic” novel, and his novel of libertarian revolution–two things that, in general I have no time for.

I guess it’s like family. They may annoy the hell out of you, but you’re still related.

This might be a compelling reason to really set up an asterisk box

So, I was recently in Best Buy, and noticed a Panasonic “phone system” that could interact with your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone to receive and initiate calls over your cell line transparently when it was in range of the base station.

I was deeply enamored of this idea…but they don’t admit that they work with the Bluetooth implementation in Treos, and they seem to promise dire consequences if you try to use an unapproved phone. Uniden has a similar system, and it seems much more liberal, though, so all is not lost.

Except…well, then I started looking at prices. $180 for the base unit. More than $100 per handset, and we’ve got phones stashed all over the house.

Yeah, that’s what I thought, too, no goddamn way.

And then the new Linux Journal arrived, and it’s devoted to Asterisk. Now I dutifully bought the O’Reilly book on Asterisk when it came out a year and a half ago, and I read through some of it, but honestly, I haven’t had the time or, really, the impetus to pursue it.

But it occurred to me a few minutes ago, “Hmmm, I wonder if Asterisk can link up with cell phones, etc., etc.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, it can. I still don’t know if I’m going to have time enough any time soon to monkey with it–and it would require buying some hardware (though less than one of these proprietary things would cost, at least up-front)–but it is interesting that it is at least a possibility.

And, you know, there’s source code.

Harper Lee as Hott Older Woman

OK, that was mostly to get your attention, but I do find it interesting that in both of the recent movies about Truman Capote (Capote and Infamous), Harper Lee–who was born in 1926, and thus 33 at the time of the events in each film–was portrayed by a woman at least a dozen years older than she was.

I mean, what’s up Hollywood, did you forget you’re supposed to cast younger? Not that I’m complaining, it just seems bizarrely atypical.

_The Last Picture Show_

Anne and I have had a copy of this out from Netflix for, I’m not kidding you, three months. We finally got around to watching it last night.

To say that I’m glad I didn’t grow up in a small town–I spent a fair amount of time in small-ish towns, but always as a transient outsider–is perhaps obvious.

It’s got a lot of the flaws I anticipated, but that anticipation is at least partly informed by the existence of this movie–it isn’t impossible to see how it would have been fresh and new, oh, you know, around the time I was born. So it’s worth seeing, even if only as a historical document.

I must say, though, what the hell happened to Timothy Bottoms? Looking at his bio on imdb, I swear, it seems like this is the only movie he’s done (perhaps other than Texasville) that was really worth doing. Weird.