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The personal weblog of Andy West.
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08/03/10
Last Summer Vacation 2010, Part 1
Filed under: General, Work
Posted by: Andy @ 9:34 pm

My vacation started with rain on Saturday, forcing me to put off mowing the lawn until later that evening. There was not much to mow, anyway, due to the dry weather. My yard is puck-marked with plantain, a broad weed that threatens the grass underneath it.

Later Saturday evening, I updated Windows and the folks’ anti-virus software on Madre’s laptop. That laptop, a Hewlett-Packard disaster, confirms my own decision to stick with hand-built generic computers or use ‘netbooks’, which are too limited in space, in memory and in processor speed to be packed with software junk.

Today I took my cat Thyme on her annual trip to the veterinarian. I wore thick vinyl gloves when quickly grabbing her and putting her into the carrier. I was only poked a couple of places on my arm. She was, naturally, exceptionally pissed. Anyway, Thyme was weighed (seven pounds), probed, and given her shots and her dewormer. Compared to last year, Thyme was relatively well-behaved. She waited until after she was put back into the carrier to express herself in effluvia. I has to clean out the carrier before putting it away for another year. As for Thyme herself, she hid herself when she got home … and forgot the whole thing a couple of hours later!

Shortly after I got home, some cement truck drove down Buckeye Street, snagged a utility line, and took down the pole it was connected to. I did not know it had happened until I went outside to fetch a ladder to examine the back gutter. I stopped to talk to some neighbors passing by, and noticed Buckeye blocked off, with two cherry-picker trucks working to restore the pole.

As for gutter itself, I can see where the water from the roof is bypassing the gutter and pouring onto my back door. Either I will have to find some way to fix this or call Handy Randy to see if he can do so.

On Sunday after lunch, I drove to Fry’s and bought myself a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium (Win7 henceforth). It was pricey, naturally, but at least the State has no reason to whine about sales tax lost from ordering online. As I did not want to screw up Madoka, my home box, I decided to test it out on Nabiki, the living room computer.

Nabiki is based on an Asus A8N-VM CSM motherboard with an Athlon 64 processor and an nVIDIA GeForce 6150 / nForce 430 chipset. In other words, the computer uses a five-year-old board whose latest drivers are for Windows XP. I should also add that the only part of the nVidia motherboard I still use is the audio: I have separate cards for video (nVIDIA GeForce 7300 GS) and network connection (US Robotics).

Anyway, after a day of installing, reinstalling and working the operating system over, I have found these:

So I decided to keep the 32-bit Win7 on Nabiki. On Tuesday I bought four new memory modules to give Nabiki its maximum of four gigabytes. True, as I found to my disappointment, 32-bit Win7 cannot handle four gigabytes, but at least it knows its there. I also got a fifty-foot CAT 5e network cable to replace the one I hand-made. I may not need it much longer, as I plan to make another attempt to hook up Nabiki to the television set.

Before I made that second trip to Fry’s for the memory and the cable, I visited Ball State to get a haircut (at the Student Center) and gather my new parking sticker (delivered to my cube). I also confirmed that our print job release software is good for another year: Renewing the license on all the stations in the library is one of my first tasks when I return to work.

I visited the folks’ house on my way to the local library for the monthly Library Friends meeting. I found both of my sisters there, and learned that Madre was on her way to the hospital to get her lungs cleaned out. Evidently the twice-a-day pumping of medicine into her lungs is not working. In the meantime, I will keep her cats fed.

Speaking of pets, my neighbors across Buckeye Street got a new dog: It is the same breed as Skippy (a Belgian Schipperke), and (judging from its snout) about the same age: The neighbors just saved it from euthanasia and named it Buddy.

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