The Dysmey Blog
The personal weblog of Andy West.

April 2010
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The Trials of iMac Prep
Filed under: General, Work
Posted by: Andy @ 9:17 pm



I have been within reach of the completing the new Mac OS X Snow Leopard disk image for most of the library’s iMacs. Everything worked quite well. Even software that tends to be a pain, like those from Adobe, worked fine. There were problems with network login, but these proved to be fixable.

Except one: For each network logon, the User Template folder would open up.

First, some background. The Public Account, which is the basis for all network accounts on an iMac, makes its home folder appear on first logon; but I close it, and it never appears again. I copy the home folders’ subfolders to the two subfolders of the User Template. That’s it. When a user logs onto the network, the settings in the User Template are loaded into the user’s new home folder. And, usually, no window of that home folder appears.

That has been the case with Tiger (10.4) and Leopard (10.5); and on these, the User Template folder has never appeared. Yet, something different was added to Snow Leopard (10.6), such that the User Template folder does appear when a user logs on the network.

I tried to get some help on this from the Apple forums, but the replies have been snarky. I suppose my attempts to provide some background have befuddled the mind of the guy who gave the replies, since it was evident he never read beyond the first paragraph. That, and a falsehood about Carbon Copy Cloner, made me I decide to close the topic on the ground that tiu, kiu estas malsaĝa, estadu malsaĝa.

Anyway, I decided to wipe out the hard disk on the test iMac and build another image. Maybe I will catch the source of the home folder window and keep it from opening.

This and a lot of other tasks I want to complete before my spring vacation next week.



I have measured out the driveway on the side of the house. I am trying to calculate how much driveway gravel I will need. The driveway now is weedy, and even the side of the driveway on my neighbor’s property, which has had landscape fabric installed, is becoming weedy as well because the fabric has broken down.

The driveway turned out to be 1372 (54′ 2″ long × 25′ 4″ wide) square feet. Now I need to find how much it will cost for the driveway gravel. I know what I need, but I do not know what its precise name is. If I knew, I can estimate how much it would cost.

back roof

Also, I need to call someone to come over next week (during my spring vacation) to examine the edge of my back roof to see if it really needs fixed — or, at least, if I can get to stop leaking.

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The iPad: For the Rest of Them
Filed under: General, Politics
Posted by: Andy @ 9:12 am

Rupert Murdoch, again displaying his remarkable ignorance of how the Web works, repeats in Washington the falsehood that he had pronounced in Beijing last year: Google is his enemy because it steals his news. And this time he throws in Microsoft’s Bing for good measure. (, then ) And, in what seems to be the most damaging endorsement for any piece of hardware, Murdoch said that the iPad was a wonderful tool for listening to music, watching videos and reading newspapers.

Again, I do not understand why the robots.txt file in all the murdochist sites, like the Wall Street Journal and the London Times is not set up thus to keep Google out.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /
ACAP-crawler: *
ACAP-disallow-crawler: /

Unless the people who run the sites are that technically illiterate, even of their own superfluous ACAP crap, which Google and Bing do not recognize.

Of course, it is possible that the iPad is not meant to be worked on by hackers, makers or other such enthusiasts. It is not meant to have apps like the iPhone or iPod. It is not meant for us. It is meant for the Big Content folks, like the newspapers and the record labels and Hollywood, in order to push their crap in a way that they find acceptable.

If that is the case, it is okay, I suppose. Let the huffings of Puff the Magic Murdoch scare away Google and Microsoft and the open-source community and anyone else who might want to conceivably want to write programs for the iPad. Let the iPad be the exclusive domain of Apple and those specially chosen by Apple to build applications for the iPad.

Let us get on with our lives, and get over the fact that the Apple iPad is a toy for the middle classes and up. The iPad is for the rest … of them.

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Easter Weekend 2010
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 8:27 pm

The Easter weekend was part of a stretch of very pleasant weather. I mowed the grass for the first time this year, and cleaned out the shed of the yard waste bags that have been sitting there all winter. I took no antihistamine before doing so, and wound up with blistery hands and arms as a result.

In fact the spring has brought me red and itchy skin, runny and itchy nose, burning and watery eyes and sometimes achey joints.  That is what the cut grass and spewing pollen do to me.  It tends to happen every spring.

My brother Bill paid a surprise visit during Sunday lunch, bringing with him a large black dog named Rebel.  He was a big, friendly dog who spent most of the time wandering around the house, panting all the time. I was told he was a Labrador retriever. I remember living next door to neighbors with two such dogs (Cassius and Jet); and those dogs were nowhere near as big as this dog.

This year I decided to make my own Easter eggs.  I used lemon juice instead of vinager, and did ten eggs, two of each of five colors.  The results were iffy:  The egg dyes were blotchy, and were not color-fast.

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