July 12, 2007

Linux Power Management

Filed under: Uncategorized — mhoye @ 11:38 am

Back in the early nineties, I once put a Powerbook Duo to sleep for weeks. When I turned it back on, there it was, just the way I left it, windows and all, in just seconds.

Now, running Linux on modern hardware I can sometimes get that to work, and sometimes not, and it won’t work at all if I have a USB key or an SD card plugged in, and it might depend on a race condition between two competing power management programs, of the three or four available, and some of the time it will wake back up just fine, and other times not so much…

This stuff should really just work, but getting it to that state is some serious nerd voodoo, if it’s possible at all.

I haven’t figured out how to kill people with my brain yet, so those of you who’d like to suggest that I buy a Mac can for the time being do so with impunity.

July 5, 2007

At Last, The Reveal

Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 9:27 pm

Ladies and gentlemen, at four forty-nine P.M. today: John Francis Rootham. No news about his initial weight, but despite the fact that he was reportedly born naked and completely unable to fend for himself, I’m sure he’s going to a towering hulk of a less-than-ten-pound young man.

Congratulations, Chris and Darcy!

July 3, 2007

A Perplexing Truth Made Shockingly Manifest

Filed under: Uncategorized — mhoye @ 10:56 pm

What, a particular Zen koan asks, is the nature of a spinning chicken? Somewhat less opaquely, though also less elegantly, one might ask: is one defined by one’s actions, or does one have an innate nature? Is this nature inherent, an immutable thing that you cannot escape or transcend, or can it be shaped by one’s decisions, actions and reactions?

I, for one, have just accidentally spilled beer on my copy of “Time Management For Systems Administrators.”

I’m not sure what that means, but whichever way you want to go, the symbolism is rich.

(Update: And then, strictly speaking, blogged about it.)

July 1, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — mhoye @ 7:24 pm

Two or three years ago during a trip to my eye doctor, he asked if I wanted to get my retinas photographed. When I asked why you’d do that, he said that they can now take very high-resolution pictures of the back of your eyes, and that they can compare those old shots to new ones as you go along, with the possibility of catching problems early. I’m still not clear on what exactly you do with eye problems once you’ve caught them; I’m really not up to speed on the state of that particular art. Can you trade them in yet? Will they grow new ones for you, in a tank?

Anyhow, he took one look at the pictures that came back and said “Wow.” Which I thought, in hindsight, to be a touch unprofessional, because when a doctor of any kind looks at a test of any kind, having a dry “wow” escape their lips unbidden is just a teensy bit disconcerting. But then he followed it up with “I bet you’ve got a lot of family pictures where you’re squinting in them, don’t you?”

Why yes. Why yes indeed, I do. How do you know that, please?

“Take a look at this.”

So, it turns out that the back of most people’s eyes are a healthy, saturated pinkish red color. Mine? Not so much. Pale, pale pink, just this side of a bloodless yellow. Not an indicator of much of anything, apparently, (vampirism is sadly right out but given my stature, thinning hair and predisposition towards the precious, it loves us, I am at some risk of gollumism) but just the root cause of the fact that I find bright lights extremely uncomfortable. Which is, should tell you, true, hence the pictures.

A few days ago, I picked up some of these, Nike’s amber-tinted contact lenses; and I’m pretty surprised. The contrast of objects, the details that I can suddenly see in them is insane – stuff just jumps out at you, sharply focused and in stark, bold contrast to its surroundings. I can see thick, deep texture in clouds that I couldn’t see at all before, see detail in motion that I couldn’t even begin to make out. Can people with normal eyes see that stuff? I sure can’t; most clouds are just bundles of flat gray-white glare to me, but with these things in it’s all I can do not to just stare. At almost anything, really, like I was missing something all this time.

It’s so wierd, because the tradeoff is all the colors I’m not seeing “correctly”, whatever that means. Some blues become teal, others bright green. Gold becomes, greyish, or bright ruby red, and various browns and whites turn into high-contrast sepiatones that are hard to describe. Green plants, around dusk, turn an odd purplish-white.


On top of that, maybe the best thing about them is that I can put sunglasses on over them, and all of a sudden I can look at the whole wide world without having to squeeze my eyes three-quarters of the way shut.

I’m a fan, is all I’m saying.

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