Monday, September 27, 2004

 

The most depraved type of being is that without purpose

So I installed XP SP2 last night on the main machine, no particular problems to report at the moment other than DVDXCopy appears to have been hosed by the upgrade (gee thanks Bill), although this machine is really sensitive to which recordable media I use. The generic DVDs from Staples seem to consistently fail, and TDKs are good about 70% of the time. I suppose the best test would be to buy an external DVD burner and see if the drive is somehow flaky, however, that'll have to wait for other moments when I have time to check things out. I've got a standard regimen for burning DVDs, disabling every background process I possibly can, DLA, screen savers, and the like, and there just seem to be times when DVDXCopy doesn't work. It sure as heck never works for a second burn in the same session, requiring a cold reboot. Thanks to the Political Whores Bought and Paid For By Disney (Hatch and Hollings, Primates) 321 Studios is of out of business and I have absolutely nowhere to turn for any sort of suggestion or support as to what to do. The other annoyance, of far less consequence, is that the new Windows Security Center reports Norton Anti Virus as installed but its status cannot be determined. If I don't let all the services start on the machine before logging in, Norton usually indicates itself as disabled for about a minute or so after logging in, then indicates normally. It's just that I really, really hate little red icons in my system tray (that's the consultant's traffic light model talking), and I don't care to disable anything in SP2 until such time as I know exactly what's going on. I suppose I should practice what I preach and turn this box into a nice Linux box with VMWare for the Windows functions I can't live without (i.e. Quicken), but being a busy and lazy sort that will have to wait for quieter times.

Lots of neat stuff has come out and is coming out this week that I want to take a look at. The new Neal Stephenson book is out, and after being wowed by Cryptonomicon, I have religiously acquired the books in the books in the Baroque Cycle, but have to find a couple of quiet weekends to actually crack the books open. Likewise with Alastair Reynolds' SF Revelation Space trilogy. The first book was one of the best new hard SF books I've read in quite a while, but time being the most precious commodity of all the subsequent books are on hold until some quiet time is available (the Munsters' raven would probably have the best comeback for this one!) Very much looking forward to Smile on Tuesday, although the purist in me cringes at the thought of a redone Good Vibrations, and next week Jan Akkerman comes out with a live DVD. I was quite surprised and pleased to see that Akkerman was still around and up to getting this out, and I must admit to looking forward to seeing how Hocus Pocus is really played. I would imagine that there will unfortunately be precious little closeups of Jan playing the guitar in the same mode of most performance videos (most every filmed performance of Hendrix focuses on his facial expressions at precisely the moments you want to see what's going on the fretboard, but the reality intruding is that most videos and films are made for the profanum vulgus, and not for the Stratocaster wielders).

Once again, Little Green Footballs proves itself indispensable with an interesting pointer to an article that claims that the "De Gaulle option" is our best exit strategy from Iraq. Considering that said strategy resulted in several nearly successful attempts on la grande Zohra's worthless hide, and over the long term resulted in banlieues and voisinages that are no-go zones not only for the petit bourgeousie but the postal, fire and police departments as well, the author of said article must have a horrid sense of history and weltanschung. Needless to say there is considerable incentive for a lot of parties to insure a less-than-smooth sojourn for the coalition, not the least of which being certain European countries who could be considerably embarassed by whatever revelations of dealings with the former regime are being suppressed. These types have some inherent belief in French and German honor, something easily dispelled by a simple perusal of history books. Examining the course of France after a successful OAS operation against la gande Zohra might be an astonishing exercise in alternate history (and likely would have resulted in a France far more cognizant of the threat it created for itself by giving Ben Bella and his ilk their way, leading by example for other more notorious vermin such as Arafat who are pestering the lovers of freedom to this day)

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