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Journal 2001-03

Current entries

2001-03-31, Sat (Day 383, temperature at 08:01: 26.5°C, difference: -1.4°C): I didn’t feel like getting up at 08:00 but I started from there as I have much to do today. I started the wash before I went to breakfast and before I went on a walk so that I could finish the laundry before 11:30. At that time I met my family outside LPAC so we could go to lunch in Sharples.

In the afternoon I did the FAFSA and the Profile. Since my computer is still not completely configured, I ran into some difficulties. I couldn’t print in Virtual PC due to a bug introduced in OS 9.1, so I needed to switch to the Mac version of IE to finish the FAFSA. The Profile site was slow to load the opening screens and the further screens wouldn’t always finish loading even though they appeared to do so and things seemed to work fine.

I did manage to get both things done before John’s concert at 20:00. The concert was two hours long so it was tough for everyone to get through it. The same performance is also going to take place tomorrow night at 19:00.

2001-03-30, Fri (Day 382, temperature at 09:59: 27.9°C, difference: +0.6°C): I met Mom on going to Chinese Civ today as it is Family Weekend. There were many more seats in the room and they were arranged in rows so they all could fit. However, not everyone expected showed up so the room didn’t seem overcrowded with people although it seemed overcrowded with desks.

I walked up with my family to the third floor of Trotter to wait for the room for mythology to be opened. Dad sat in for mythology.

In the afternoon I ran a slew of errands in various campus buildings. I went to see Rosaria about mythology and then I signed out the questions from the physiological psychology midterm. It took a long time to go over them partly because I was checking in the middle of the afternoon and I was tired.

I went to John’s concert at 20:00 and thought the performance was nice.

2001-03-29, Thu (Day 381, temperature at 09:02: 27.3°C, difference: -0.1°C): I got up at 09:00 and ate breakfast in my room. Due to this decision I needed to get a Phoenix after Allen’s class. However, there weren’t any copies around at 11:15 but they were there after I ate lunch, although that involved me walking up the hill an extra time.

I had a WA meeting after Ed’s class and later went to the lecture for history in the Scheuer Room at 16:15. The lecture by Professor Benjamin Elman was about the examination system in ancient China.

The Phoenix meeting was at 19:00 and after the meeting we held a fireside chat in Parrish Parlors at 20:30.

Jesse’s brother Bart who is from Brown arrived today and we chatted about the stuff that is going on at Brown recently namely the complaints about the Brown Daily Herald on printing the Horowitz ad and the smoking ban in residence halls next semester.

2001-03-28, Wed (Day 380, temperature at 07:45: 27.4°C, difference: +0.7°C): I dreamed I was trying to walk back to Swat from Ridley High School. I get lost and end up in Wallingford or Nether Providence during the weekday afternoon rush hour. I see the pedestrian overpass on PA Route 252 very far down the road even though I don’t think I am on that road and on seeing that I panic a little as I didn’t think I drifted off that far. I don’t remember passing by the Blue Route. I am now in a hospital. I walk towards the exit, helping people and being nice along the way. I glance at a map briefly but decide that I don’t need it so I leave it there. I do at some point picture a mental map of Swarthmore and Nether Providence and I can see the streets and how they connect so I think knowing that much should be fine.

Outside the hospital, a south road bordering the hospital leads to a large apartment complex that is probably ten stories, has balconies, and is dark brown brick colored. The road bends to the southwest and the complex essentially spans my visible south horizon although trees block part of my view, as the apartment does not go on forever but it is very wide. The hill descends in that direction. That road makes a ‘t’ with the road in front of the hospital, which is at the southwest corner of the intersection. The intersection has a green traffic light that has no overhead signals. The intersection is busy, but there are “push for green” pedestrian buttons. A mother waiting for her children to come home from school helps me cross the street. On the other side is a green open space before it reaches to a couple of scattered houses. I get to the other side of the north road and start walking west.

Today did not seem like it was going to be a good day when I was going for my walk this morning. However I did not know why. I got the daily stuff (journal, e-mail) done before I went to the office so that’s a plus. The trouble starts in my day when I enter the student publications office on the fifth floor of Parrish. There simply were too many computer-operator problems and us making mistakes, probably aggravated by the computer problems. The most obvious ones are mentioned here.

The PageMaker 6.5.2 application on Sideshow Bob, the computer that has given serious problem before, would not open and gave a resource manager error type -199. The 6.5 binary was still on the drive and even though that would open, it would quit without error on initializing the clipboard. This is the same problem that Moe had on 2001-02-06 and the only solution was to backup, reformat, and restore. I wouldn’t mind too much doing this again although there is about 15 GB of data on Sideshow Bob and much of it are archives for the Phoenix that needs to be burned to CDs. I don’t want to touch that stuff too much since there is no backup of it.

So Justin and I agreed to hold off on doing anything major until after this week’s issue is published. That was only the beginning. We fell a half-hour behind schedule for the first deadline as the cover was done late. Then the server crashed and then the other computers in the office crashed as a result. The far iMac was really giving problems.

There were no plates or individual cups for the pizza and sodas so bowls were flattened. Back in Willets, I forget to run the stats report after dinner, so that made things after the second deadline fall behind a couple minutes. I get back to the office in the early evening and the phone rings with an intermittent tone meaning an off-campus call. I wonder who off-campus is calling and then I think, oh no the printer. Justin answers and it turns out that we somehow gave them last week’s disks even though we have no idea why that managed to happen. So this was a week of bad computer karma.

Doing the online edition was also a challenge. I kept getting “cannot be converted to number” errors when sending the stories to the web. That typically means there is some garbage element on the layout so the solution is to move the textbox off the page. That worked, but when this error happens, the numbering of the output files are no longer sequential. This error happened so many times today that when I was doing the in-(section).html files I couldn’t go as quickly since the numbering jumped so much.

I finished a half-hour behind here too. It took another hour to get the paper online although I did do it before 00:00 but by only a couple of minutes. Since I wanted to finish as soon as I could I didn’t do all of the art, but I did do most of it. At the very end my computer crashed although that could have happened any week considering how much stuff I need to do for the online edition.

2001-03-27, Tue (Day 379, temperature at 08:01: 26.7°C, difference: -0.7°C): One thing that I am noticing and this observation is just indicative of everything falling apart, conflicting, and giving me problems this semester is this latency problem that my computer has now. This happens mostly while in Word or IE, although I use those applications the most.

John and I sat on the other side of Ed’s class today and the opponent parties on the issue of traces during last Tuesday’s class were sitting next to each other on the other side of the room. Ed put together a whole lecture on traces for today in addition to the scheduled material, the former in response to the discussion beforehand.

I went to McCabe after class to write the four-page book review for history due tomorrow. I had a hard time finding a computer so I had to go to the first level and use one of the beige G3s in the typing room. I did move at a good clip, finishing the writing before dinner. After dinner I went to the Beardsley public area to revise the paper, as the printer on level two in McCabe that does double-sided printing is still not there. I later went to the publications office at 22:00.

2001-03-26, Mon (Day 378, temperature at 08:01: 27.4°C, difference: +0.3°C): Today seemed like a day of expectations unfulfilled. I went to McCabe to read the book for Chinese Civ. I continued reading this evening, stopping at 21:50, which is when I went to Kirby to watch “Cube.” This movie is one of the disturbing ones where a group of people is trapped in this structure that consists of thousands of cubes, some of which are lethal. The trick is to get out of the thing.

2001-03-25, Sun (Day 377, temperature at 11:13: 27.1°C, difference: +0.1°C): I dream that my family is at the new Ridley High School near sunset during this year’s spring break. The building is almost completed although the pool and service area and I think the gym too weren’t completed yet. In real life, all of the building massing has been completed. I get confused thinking that the school was done when I was taking pictures earlier but I didn’t see that the back of the building still needed to be finished.

Work crews in my dream are installing a streetlight at Villanova and 9th Ave attached to a traffic light at the intersection. 9th Ave is continued through the high school lot to Villanova Ave, something that is specifically not going to happen in real life since residents on Villanova Ave said they wanted their street to remain a cul-de-sac. A traffic light at the intersection with crosswalks has already been installed. The streetlights installed on the street all looked different from each other. A drive connecting the high school north lot at the south end, which is 9th Ave anyway loops around to the south base of the intersection and is arbitrarily called exit 20 or 26. I point this out to my family and they find it amusing too.

In this dream there were about a dozen retail stores in between the old high school and the new one, already open.

Now I am at a mall, maybe the Springfield Mall. My sister Lauren has this glass jar of colored candy pieces, such as jellybeans while in this store on the upper level, middle-southwest area of the building. We go to leave the store and for some reason the metal gate would only raise briefly if you would open the glass inside door for the store. So it took a while to get out.

I finally got caught up with e-mail today with the Yahoo and Swat accounts. I then went to the library to choose and read a book for a review due on Wednesday in history. I did choose a book but my eyes were tired from staring at the screen today reading all of the mail. Trying to read the book was not happening. So I left the library and went to bed a little early.

2001-03-24, Sat (Day 376, temperature at 08:03: 27.0°C, difference: 0.0°C): I did things a little out of order and on top of each other this morning. I went to breakfast late, which was one of the worst Sharples meals I have encountered. There were lots of Phoenix sandwiches, but the one I got at least was not good, and not eatable, even the croissant alone. The lunch was much better.

I then started the wash and went for my walk. I finished by 12:00 for lunch. I spent a large amount of time getting Yahoo! Mail caught up and then I worked on the Swat mail. By the end of all of this my eyes hurt. I did take a break and watched “Office Space” in LPAC Cinema at 19:30, which was a good Dilbert-like movie.

2001-03-23, Fri (Day 375, temperature at 08:01: 27.0°C, difference: -0.8°C): I got up at 08:00 but went back to bed within the hour. I then got up a couple of times before I finally got up at 11:00 as there was no Chinese Civilization today. My oral presentation for mythology was today. I had a can of pineapple juice for breakfast and the sugar might have made me feel hungrier even though it was of the natural type. I get to class early and the door is locked. I sit down and wait for it to get opened. Most of the class is now waiting outside the room.

The room is opened and I sit in my usual seat. I said what I found out about The Bacchae near the end of class.

I go to “Down in the Delta” in LPAC Cinema at 19:30. There were no more than ten people for the whole room, which I found surprising. I remember not that long ago movies were well attended, but not anymore.

2001-03-22, Thu (Day 374, temperature at 08:02: 27.8°C, difference: +0.2°C): Since I didn’t have real breakfast in my room I needed to get up at 08:00 even though I went to bed at 04:00. The midterm for Psych 28 was during class, early this afternoon.

I did more reading to prepare for my oral presentation in classics afterwards in McCabe. Dinner was enjoyable and the Phoenix ed board meeting was well attended — it seemed like previous good times in terms of the meeting dynamics.

2001-03-21, Wed (Day 373, temperature at 08:01: 27.6°C, difference: +1.6°C): I get to mythology a couple minutes later than usual as history ran a little over, so I sat in the back right corner.

I went to lunch and eventually went to the office a little after 15:00, a little later than normal. I get up there and it is really quiet. I sit where I sat last night.

I leave the office after eating dinner there to take a break. The news and especially the sports section of this week’s Phoenix were laid out differently and the difference was enough to slow me down for sending those layout files to the web. I had lots of unflowed text boxes for sidebars to deal with and it took me twice the amount of time to do web stuff in the office. I left at 23:00 and worked quickly to catch up. I finished by 02:30 so the office delay wasn’t too much of an issue.

2001-03-20, Tue (Day 372, temperature at 08:01: 26.0°C, difference: +0.3°C): I got up and immediately went for my walk. After breakfast, I drop a lot of Tums in the room.

Ed in class this afternoon did a crash course on linguistics tree structures that prompted no questions in the beginning but near the end of class an extensive discussion started about why traces were necessary.

I went up to the office at around 21:30 and left at 23:00, which was my intention. I sat in between the 7200 and 7300, which are to the right of the near right G4. In the past I would sit near the whiteboard. I did this so I could concentrate better.

2001-03-19, Mon (Day 371, temperature at 08:20: 25.7°C, difference: -2.5°C): I dream that I am on an elevator going up and on the 12th floor it stops and someone gets on from the special level. Before I assumed the 11th floor to be the top floor. I see the person’s faded green eyes and we exchange greetings.

Next, I decide to walk from Swat to the Ridley Park Christ Episcopal Church off Sellers Ave, which is where I vote at in real life. I go there primarily to use the bathroom. When I walk inside I see someone acting like a scrooge. Apparently it is before Christmas as after I leave the church a few minutes later, Swarthmore Public Safety stops by and asks me how was Santa. I told them I didn’t go for that; instead I got a feeling from the place and didn’t feel so good about it (primarily from the scrooge). They understood that and some other people gathered around so the officers got out of their parked Jeep and talked to them. Some other people asked me the same question although the less enlightened people didn’t understand my same response, instead focusing on Santa. So I walked back.

Now I am in a third floor classroom in Ridley Middle School. The hallway is noisy. Group work is going on inside the classroom. A classmate insists on sitting next to me as much as possible.

Soon after, I get on the middle school elevator at the first floor although the building has at least 16 floors. In real life the elevator accesses five floors. About a third up the shaft the cab shifts suddenly. A bunch of people got in with me although the elevator went to the top first instead of stopping at the five intermediate floors that people requested to get off on. I get off on the 16th floor, the top floor of the building. However, the real middle school has the observatory support level and the observatory itself but the elevator does not go to these higher levels. Somebody joked if the elevator kept going we would need to stop it at 16 so I could get off. The door opens and the elevator is a foot lower than the floor. The elevator does eventually line up but I am too impatient and just step out. My family is there and they had this little white stepladder ready as this mismatch must be pretty common. I was rushing so they didn’t have time to set the ladder up.

I see the other elevator shaft to the front left of the functioning one. The cab on that elevator is on the 16th floor more or less and it is stopped in that position permanently. The cab is stopped at the location like the cab I got off of when the doors first opened. Dad is telling me to get in the cab and look out this small Mertz-style square window that would look towards the Ridley Park Lake, southwest. I tell him I am too busy. The floor I am on actually is the third floor of the middle school and I go in room number 339 (before the rooms were renumbered in 1994 in real life). I resume working. I have my black notebook with me.

In comparing the elevators, the first elevator is well running and black, although not lit very brightly since the walls didn’t reflect too much light. When the doors open for the 12th floor, I am blinded by the natural light coming from that level. This could have possibly been a dimensional elevator. The elevator in the middle school did not operate as smoothly, was light colored, and allowed natural light in while in the cab.

Today in class, both history and mythology seemed different as it is the first class from break so people should be more rested and midterms were taken for both classes.

I read e-mail in the evening and I found out why this task is so time-consuming. The funny and informative LinuxPPC user digest list takes almost an hour to read for a 68 K message, which came out to 47 pages single spaced Times 12 point in Word. So I am reading at a good rate for me, which is about 60 pages an hour, but it simply is a lot of text every day.

I went to the SWIL showing of “Chicken Run” in Kirby. This movie was done by Aardman Animations, so it had that Wallace and Gromit feel to it. The setting was a chicken farm where the chickens band together to escape.

While I am using my towel in the shower, my glasses fall off since I rest them on top of the towel. This setup has not been a problem before in Willets but tonight it didn’t work.

In terms of weather, it was very nice today with warmer temperatures and another blue-sky Monday. Personally it seems like things run better when I am independent. Transitions in either direction are bad, but in the committed connective state, things aren’t that great compared to isolationist individualist, at least in terms of weather and collective mood.

2001-03-09, Fri (Day 370, temperature at 08:10: 28.2°C, difference: +1.6°C): I ate breakfast in Sharples today but I felt too rushed to go for my walk. I studied for my Chinese history midterm this morning.

The door to Trotter 301 was locked again so we had to wait for Rosaria to get the door open. She had a midterm last period so she was a little late.

I am going to try to leave for break today, although I would rather get things in order on campus, but that would simply take too long.

I came home early this evening. Earlier I wanted to get the always-on broadband connection working this break, as this would be a good time to do it before the summer. However, I told Dad while waiting at the KFC drive-in that RCN didn’t have their act together compared to before, so I said that I didn’t think it was going to happen.

Despite my claim, I changed my view as we went out to get the Comcast@Home startup kit and cable modem on Monday and the service was activated on Tuesday. I didn’t get it working well until late Wednesday since Mac OS 8.6 DHCP didn’t work consistently with the @Home servers. The Mac OS 9 DHCP implementation worked better. Even with the latest OS, the Power Mac 7300 sometimes would still fail to get a DHCP lease.

The occasional connection problems moved me to write this AppleScript that resets the @Home connection by turning TCP networking services off and then on again, forcing another attempt at connecting with DHCP. I found that about 25% of the time, I needed to use this script after starting up to get the network working. I didn’t even need to quit IE when running the script. I usually needed to run the script two times before I got a connection.

So even though I didn’t want to write AppleScripts during break, I needed to do so anyway. The connection reset script was the first AppleScript I wrote that has a very real need, more than providing information, making more complete backups, or increasing efficiency.

I walked to the Ridley High School on Monday to take pictures instead of having to do it while Swarthmore classes were going, which happened for last break. It was a good thing that I went early during break, as the rest of the week was dreary with clouds and rain. Monday was a blue-sky day and so was the Sunday on my return to Swat although it was much windier on Sunday.

I never got caught up on my Yahoo! Mail and as a result I didn’t check my Swat mail over break. I got back to Swat on 2001-03-18 and was full of mistakes and clumsiness for the rest of that day. I went to McCabe in the afternoon to do reading for classics. I had dinner with Jesse and I energetically explained the current situation. I accidentally dropped my dinner knife and we thought that meant something since I have never dropped silverware in the dining area of Sharples until now. In the evening I unpacked and read e-mail. Jesse, John, and I baked the Joe Corbi pizzas from the fridge in the evening. Tom hasn’t arrived yet as his classes start on Tuesday.

The heat wasn’t working on Sunday when I got back and the room temperature was around 21°C. I got back after dinner and turned on all of the lights, heating up the room. When I went to bed near 01:00 the heat was working again. However, the next morning the heat was off even though it should be on.

2001-03-08, Thu (Day 369, temperature at 08:43: 26.6°C, difference: -0.8°C): I got up, ate a yogurt, and continued studying for the physiological psychology midterm this morning. I didn’t find many true surprises on the test. In the afternoon, the seats in Papazian 324 were reconfigured like they were numerous times last semester. For almost all of this semester so far the seats have been in a rough double horseshoe. Today they were back into rows. I thought this change was ironic considering Ed Kako’s class today was a designated discussion day. The discussion was primarily small group based like the first major one this semester. The group I was in came to a clear and consistent point quickly and easily, which I thought was good. Ed handed out questions that might be on the midterm the Thursday after break.

I took a nap in the late afternoon and since I didn’t shut the curtain in the room I was able to wake up before dinner. Short, one-hour naps seem to work best for me. The Phoenix meeting at 19:00 was well attended considering that break starts tomorrow. I went to McCabe after the meeting and studied for my Chinese Civilization midterm tomorrow morning. I stopped before 23:00 and went to bed soon afterwards.

2001-03-07, Wed (Day 368, temperature at 08:01: 27.4°C, difference: -0.4°C): At the student publications office this afternoon, most of The Phoenix pages were laid out early, but the PDFing was done later than normal. The Screw page was a double spread that ended up being a PostScript file greater than 100 MB and as a result took a long time to distill with Acrobat. Justin ran the Export to EPS option to make sure the file will process correctly at the printer and the export option gave a message, which is bad. Two of the nine images were the culprit. They were saved as EPS, which is necessary for the color pages, but they were saved as RGB instead of CMYK, with the latter color separation being necessary. So the long distillation process was done again. Meanwhile it is nearly 17:30 so we fell pretty far behind for our 17:00 deadline.

Additional complications developed. Sideshow Bob refused to eject the Zip disk again that contained the pages and to make the problem acute it still refused to eject the disk after restarting, continuing to give a -38 error. Iomega Tools didn’t want to eject the disk either although I only tried before I restarted. At least the application opened though since the Iomega driver was being used instead of the generic USB storage driver. This second condition is still the case on my iMac, which prevents Iomega Tools from opening. On Sideshow Bob I started up with the shift key to disable extensions and the disk didn’t even mount but already becoming drastic I had the paperclip ready to emergency eject the disk. That worked. Later on I discovered that the option to eject disks on restart in Iomega Drive Options was not checked, although the disk would have ejected on shutdown, since that option already was checked.

The computer that had the second Zip disk of PDFs for the printer crashed so that was another problem. With the delays, I obviously didn’t go to Third Wing at 17:30 since I still needed to do the web stuff. So even though I made a decision on 2001-01-31 that it was even better now to go to Third Wing despite that it meets on my busiest day, I have been running behind each week I didn’t go and there is pizza in the office for dinner. So the trend seems to be that I am spending more time in the office on The Phoenix deadline day.

To help balance things we met our 22:00 deadline a half-hour early. I was able to get the first pass of the online edition up a little earlier also in part since AppleScript now runs faster on my iMac. However the Screw art slowed me down by an extra hour although that counts as the slide show for this week’s issue. So I didn’t get to bed until 04:00.

2001-03-06, Tue (Day 367, temperature at 09:00: 27.8°C, difference: -0.6°C): I got up later today since I went to bed later. I spent the late afternoon and evening getting the Phoenix workflow going on my computer. Getting Analog updated took a lot of time and I couldn’t get Photoshop 6 to take a Photoshop 5.5 action file so for now I’ll need to do the cover image manually again. I went to the office closer to 23:00 and stayed there until about 01:00.

2001-03-05, Mon (Day 366, temperature at 08:01: 28.4°C, difference: +0.2°C): I got a good night’s sleep, went for my walk, then ate breakfast all in preparation for the mythology midterm today. Before then I needed to see Allen to get my sophomore paper cover sheet signed so I could turn my paper in to the Registrar by 12:00. John and I went to Allen’s office, as he needed to get his cover sheet signed as well. I went to Chinese History earlier since I was already up the hill so in the interim I studied for the mythology midterm.

I had some fun this afternoon as I felt I didn’t have many timed pressures on me then. I continued configuring the computer, which continued until after dinner. I went to the publications office this evening to see how the computers were doing as the 7300 is still in an unreliable state and I didn’t know if the problem with the scanning G4 had been fixed, although I hoped it was taken care of. I get up there and find out that the scanning G4 is not working. A note on the computer said that the Norton Utilities CD and the Apple Hardware CD didn’t get things going. I was able to boot with TechTool and there was a mismatch error that was fixed. I inadvertently pressed the enter key when I went to reach for the mouse, so I didn’t get a chance to check if the rebuilt directory had the files that the old directory had. I eventually did a test scan of color line art, which worked. The 7300 started up fine.

I had a few minutes in Willets after returning from the office before I went to the SWIL movie at 22:00. Last week the title for this week was said to be “X.” The schedule of events said “Siegfried” although what was actually shown considering that that weather was pretty weird today with the snow and freezing rain was “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” We were told that “Siegfried” was postponed to April 16. I found “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” to be a good classic.

2001-03-04, Sun (Day 365, temperature at 10:48: 28.2°C, difference: 0.0°C): I dream that I am in Philadelphia at Penrose Ave and 26th Street, which is PA 291 at the eastern foot of the Platt Bridge. I am shown a visual graph with a white line and black background stating that governmental control of bottled water has lead from about 80 quality incidences a few years ago to none currently. The slope of the line was steep at the very end.

I needed to write my sophomore paper due at 12:00 tomorrow and study for my mythology midterm tomorrow. However, writing the paper involved getting Word and network printing set up first on the iMac. As a result I finished writing the paper before dinner but it wasn’t ready to be printed until after 19:00. I stopped studying for mythology at 22:00 since I wanted to go to bed at a reasonable time.

Printing on campus is still a problem. The level two printer in McCabe (HP 8100) is still broken. The out-of-order notice attached to the printer now serves as a progress report on the saga. The printer broke around 2001-02-15 and a replacement part was on backorder a few days later. An update was written for Friday that said ITS was still trying and that the problem was unknown. Only one printer in the Beardsley public area is working (the same one broke again, or has been broken, I don’t know) and the remaining public 8100 printer says the toner was low. Unless there is another public HP 8100 that I don’t know about, the last working public double-sided printer on campus is not in good shape.

2001-03-03, Sat (Day 364, temperature at 11:34: 28.2°C, difference: -0.3°C): I continued configuring my computer this afternoon and evening. Screw was today. I didn’t go to “Dazed and Confused” last night but I did make time for the 19:30 showing of “Election” in DuPont which I thought was a good movie about high school. By late this evening many other things on the computer were still not set up yet although I was making progress.

2001-03-02, Fri (Day 363, temperature at 08:01: 28.5°C, difference: -0.1°C): I dreamed that I was in an elevator and going up to floor three. However the door doesn’t open when there. I need to push the door open button and this alternate door opens to the floor. The other people that I was in the elevator with didn’t seem to know what to do when the door initially didn’t open. Later on I am in the basement of the old Ridley High School, south end of the building. A Sharples staff member is briefly there and I enter the area with Dad. The staff member implied that the elevator was working now and Dad went to try it on this control board that was in the area in front of the elevator. There was a basic control board that had the directional call buttons, but beyond that was this advanced board that had the call buttons but also had these other buttons. I think Dad used the basic one, although whichever one he did use I was surprised by and he almost used the other board before using the one he did.

The Mac OS 9.1 CD finally came, which I had a feeling this morning that it would arrive today. I saw the package slip in the mailbox, and before I even opened the mailbox I exclaimed “Thank You” simply because I have been waiting a while for the CD to come so I could upgrade the iMac and add LinuxPPC 2000 quarter four. On walking in front of Parrish, Tom tried to teach me how to skip, which I couldn’t get, as we initially found out while walking up the hill from Sharples a few minutes ago.

I opened the OS 9.1 package, which had a very short installation manual, in fact the shortest OS installation guide from Apple that I have encountered. In fact they seem to be getting progressively shorter as each release goes by. I then read Swat e-mail that I already downloaded from the mail server but have not yet fully read. I made a list of what I needed to do for the entire upgrade, which initially were eleven steps. I needed to repartition the hard drive for the primary reason of installing Linux, thereby erasing the data. Also the disk size change AppleScript depends on the startup disk being no more than about 2 GB otherwise an overflow occurs. So no partition was sized to be greater than about 2 GB.

The psychology colloquium, which was supposed to start at 16:15 didn’t actually begin until after 16:30. Coming from the talk, Jesse, John, and I didn’t get to Sharples until much later, but we were still able to get a four-seat table in the small room.

I started backing up the computer after dinner. Since I didn’t want files to change while I was backing up, I booted with startup items off (holding down the shift key on Finder load). I thought about the possibility that if my Zip drive broke, I would need to borrow Jesse’s to backup. By irony a few minutes later after John and Tom left to go see women’s boxing in Paces, Retrospect ejected the 11th Zip disk but refused to mount the 12th. The Finder also refused to mount that disk as well as other disks I inserted. I restarted and got the same problem.

I unplugged my USB printer to make things less complicated. I then tried to mount a disk with extensions off and with an extension set I made for reformatting a Zip disk but I still could not get a disk to mount. The Zip drive would flash the amber activity light and then nothing would happen. I was able to eject the disk by pressing the eject button on the Zip drive (which means the Mac OS did not mount the disk).

At first I thought that I fixed the problem by zapping the PRAM, but then the problem returned. Another problem that started when the Zip drive stopped working was I could not properly restart or shutdown my computer. This symptom cued me to when that problem happened when I first installed OS 9 in 1999. As a temporary fix, I found that if I unplugged my Zip drive before starting up and restarting, I had no problems. When I needed to use it I plugged the drive in and then it started working properly. The beauty that is USB hot swapping.

Once I figured that out, I restored the PRAM to what it was before and I then started the backup where it got left off at. I also need to verify the StorageSet since when a backup is stopped for any reason the compare process is only done on the remainder of the backup (disks 12 and greater for this case). With all this backup trouble I lost a fair amount of time from this problem.

I didn’t repartition the drive until after 21:00. I broke the 6 GB hard drive into three 2 GB sections. The first section is for Mac OS startup and contains most everything else Mac OS. The second section was formatted as Mac OS Standard so it could be used as a transfer disk between the Mac OS and Linux. The 2 GB Linux space was further broken into six partitions.

I then installed OS 9.1 and proceeded to do the Linux install. Linux didn’t boot immediately and I received the hunch that I needed to select the /boot partition in the Startup Disk control panel that was rewritten for OS 9.1. However the /boot disk was grayed out since the control panel could not find a valid System Folder. I went online and found instructions to get this part setup.

Linux then booted and the network worked right away since I did the network configuration without making a major error during the installation setup. However, I initially thought that I did make a mistake since I received an error during login that my machine name was not registered or something like that and that I needed to edit my /etc/hosts. I also couldn’t get ftp or telnet working and I thought I made a configuration error but in fact I wasn’t typing enough commands to connect to the SCCS ftp and telnet server. Netscape web browsing worked immediately. I also fixed the login problem by editing the /etc/hosts file.

Jesse came in the room to talk to me and John and Tom followed soon thereafter. Jesse and Tom left and John then went to bed. I restored most of the backup data on the Mac OS but Retrospect said I didn’t have enough room on the first partition even though I thought I did. I was getting tired at this point so I just went to bed.

2001-03-01, Thu (Day 362, temperature at 09:08: 28.6°C, difference: +0.2°C): I got up an hour later today since I anticipated being tired and I also shut the curtain before I went to bed last night so that way I actually could sleep later. With the sun getting up earlier, I am initially wakened by the daylight a fair amount of time before my alarm.

In Physiological Psychology today the class didn’t have a center front and more people sat on the stage left side of the room. Allen said that this organization always happens in DuPont 161 when he is teaching in it and someone gave an insight novel to me: the left-handed desks are on the right side of the room. However, not many people sitting there were left-handed.

For the first time, I had a problem getting a Phoenix newspaper. I went to Parrish after Allen’s class so it was still before 11:30. There were no Phoenixes on the Parrish counter by the mailroom so I walked to Tarble and found none. I then went back to Parrish and headed to the area near Parrish Parlors and found a small stack. I grabbed one and cut the stack roughly in half and moved one half to the Parrish counter. The cover of the issue was very simple but the message was clear: the campus experienced an unusual amount of crime last weekend. So even though the cover design may be seen as simplistic it had no negative bearing on this week’s readership.

Since there seemed to be a scarcity of print copies of The Phoenix, I quickly proofed the articles online for this week before Kako’s class since I expected more visitors. I did notice that slightly more visitors were coming from Swarthmore in the stats.

The video projector in Papazian 324 would periodically display a strong blue tint (red gun failure) during Kako’s PowerPoint presentations this semester at least. However today the situation was more garish as another gun failed, casting a medium purplish tone on the entire screen. However, I did not notice the purple too much during the good discussion, as the unusual background was consistently present so it became acclimated to my environment.

I caught the journal up and then web posted it this evening after the Phoenix meeting. Following that I put up a slide show of the women’s basketball game versus Gwynedd-Mercy.


Journal 2001-02

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