Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

One less Window

Another year, another happily recycled computer in the Booth house – thanks again to Keith! – and my daughter is thrilled to finally have her own Ubuntu machine, just in time for an early birthday present.

Funny thing about the whole ease-of-use thing: Part of what had rendered her Windows box mostly useless was its repeated wireless connection failures: It’d work for awhile, then fail to recognize the USB adapter, then find it but swear something was wrong with it. Even complete driver reinstalls didn’t fix it. So today, I plug the adapter into the Ubuntu machine. Nothing happens. I wonder if the adapter’s broken.

A single Google search later, and I have the answer. It takes about 10 minutes to get her computer hooked directly into the router, download the appropriate package which will make this driver work  and get the machine cruising wirelessly, and I haven’t even furrowed my brow. Yes, this is an awfully low-level tech problem, but I’m an awfully low-level Linux user.

We’ve been really happy with the Linux switch since we made the jump as total n00bs early last year, and really haven’t missed much of Windows world at all. My only quibbles were not having the patience and expertise to get my old flatbed parallel-port scanner to play nice and not being able to watch Netflix on demand. I tried to give’s audiobooks a shot, but they didn’t like Linuxland either, but since that was driven by the release of one audiobook in particular, it’s not like I was suddenly missing out on what had been a big part of my entertainment.

Kelsey had the old Win95 machine, so she and Jenn had access to their iTunes and Rhapsody libraries, and Jenn has since gotten an entry-level netbook with Windows 7, which not only makes their music access smoother, but gets regular Netflix use, too.

Now that Kelsey’s running Ubuntu – which officially gives Linux a majority in our house now! -her old machine will stripped down to the Win95 bare-bones just so I can reattach it to my flatbed. Yes, it will effectively make it a single-purpose machine, but it’s the easier road, frankly, until I can just get a newer scanner that’s Linux-ready.

March 21, 2010 Posted by | geek, linux, Web/Tech | , , , | 1 Comment

Something fishy.

I took five rolls of film (Yes, film. I dug them out from beneath the abacus and stacks of papyrus on my desk.) to the drugstore yesterday, just for fun. Had a vague idea of what would be on a couple of them, but there was still enough mystery that I was excited to get the CDs home – Prints, you say? When I don’t even KNOW what’s on there? How quaint. – and pop them into the computer for some family photoarchaeology.

Digression: I wish Walgreen’s had mentioned that their CDs aren’t straight data storage. They have the photos locked up within an editing/sharing software program that you have to run. At least you don’t have to install the software – although if you’re not careful, you will because the check box defaults to that setting upon exiting – and it’s easy enough to copy the files onto a desktop, but only after I got home did I see the fine print that this particular software requires (of course) Windows. Well, crap. Look, I get that by switching to Ubuntu, we’ve limited some of our software options, but come on: I’m ordering only digital photos, and nobody thinks to ask if I’m maybe running a Mac? >sigh.< I’m sure if I’d earned a higher Ubuntu-Fu belt by now, I could’ve given a shot at trying to run the disc in Wine or something, but I resorted to just using our one remaining Windows machine to read the discs, copy the photos onto a flash drive, and get the hell out of MS-Dodge.

So, what was on the film? A fairly significant time span, given that it was only five rolls – and two of those were filled with shots from the point-and-shoot fisheye camera Jim got for my daughter. One 24-picture roll even had pictures from two successive Christmases  – between which , oddly enough, we’d had the family room re-carpeted,  so our photos look like a Hollywood continuity error.

Mostly they were just family snapshots, but there were a couple of the fisheye shots that came out neat:

This is our backyard, snow-globe style. (Here’s a bigger version.)

And this is my daughter’s shot of me working amidst the glorious sugar chaos of our annual Christmas Cookie decorating day. (Big version here.) We had black-and-white film in the camera for this one, and I like the effect. The graininess and the offset shadow kind of remind me of those M.C. Escher “world reflected in a silver globe” drawings.

April 30, 2009 Posted by | geek, Ohio, Web/Tech | , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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