The Dysmey Blog
The personal weblog of Andy West.
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11/14/09
Mid-November 2009
Filed under: General, Work
Posted by: Andy @ 1:42 pm

I have had to work during the past three Saturdays this month. The work almost totally involved the Macs.

First, students could not print without logging on again. Then, a missetting on the iMacs’ workstation manager slipped past me, locking up the iMacs on Sundays. Finally, I found the right mix of scripts and apps to make the computer availability system (a service to let students know which computers are available) work on the Macs. For each of these I spent a Saturday morning working on the iMacs in the Reference section, because these are too busy on weekdays to work on them. I used some of my off-time to visit the dentist.

Veterans Day is also Madre’s birthday. With her birthday card I got her a foldout card of native wildlife, so that she can better identify what wanders about in her back yard. The folks’ house is only a block from the business district, and yet all sorts of animal life walk about the yards and streets of the town. I have seen possums, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, and hawks. Their latest visitors have been a mallard duck named Tiny Tim and a chicken who follows him around. Well, two chickens in succession. The fowl belong to the folks’ neighbors, a couple of arts-and-crafts types who have decorated their house and yard with antiques and antique-like kitsch. The neighbors do not seem to know how, or seem to expend enough time, to raise the fowl, so little critters end up escaping their coop and frolicking in my folks’ yard. From time to time I replenish the water the folks leave for the fowl. The duck seems to like me, or at least have this thing for pecking at my shoes.

The folks’ neighbors seem to be locus from which disseminate barnstars. I do not know what those rusty metal stars have anything to do with the native culture where I live. I have never seen them on any house or barn until sometime after 2000. Then they started appearing on houses all over the place. That is so dumb. The nearest Amish community, who would supposedly hang them on their barns, is fifty miles away in Adams County. The barnstars are a home-and-garden fad like those concrete goose ‘gnomes’ that were very popular a decade ago and which I still find in some yards, all dressed up depending on the holiday or season.

I typed this entry on one of the library’s workstations. I do not like to use them. There are all sorts of programs loaded on them, requested by the university’s varied departments. Having to load the configurations of all those programs makes a workstation very, very slow to launch after you log on. Worse, none of those programs are of any use to me. I have to use a licensed version of TextPad 3 because it works from a thumb drive. I have to visit the Microsoft site to download and activate ClearType, so that the Microsoft “new” fonts like Consolas are legible. I also have to download and install Paint.NET. In short, Microsoft’s default utility programs are such trash that others have write improved programs (TextPad, Paint.NET, and AZZ Cardfile for the old Win3x utility) to replace them.

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