Category Archives: Technology

Minor Victories, Minor Defeats

I just posted an old paper that I remember having a lot of fun with. (I am posting my old school papers here and try to add one every other day or so depending on time.) This was for a critical theory seminar on vitalisms in Continental philosophy. I think my take on Bergson was pretty creative and I’m still pleased at what I was able to throw together, but John Smith’s comments were very helpful and I ought to make some additions to it and create a new version some day, just for giggles. If anyone wants to see my thought-experiment wedding early twentieth-century philosophy with early twenty-first-century science, the paper was called Élan Vital Redux?.

I was supposed to have Internet instaled at the flat in Rekhovot this morning, but that didn’t quite go as planned. Turns out it’s not WiFi, it requires me to plug in. This is extremely inconvenient, as there are no outlets near the phone jack, and I need to have my computer plugged into the box anyhow. This means that I have turned the kitchen table lengthwise, and have one cord running to one wall and another to the opposite wall. I have to unplug in order to access the kitchen. Hah-rumph.

But more importantly, I still don’t have Internet access. What I have is a working telephone (so what?) and a bridge that has no DSL light. In Israel apparently they use separate companies to provide the access, and Barak only made the arrangements with the first company. He has to call the second and have the access turned on, and will get to that some time between to-day and Thursday. Hah-rumph.

Upshot is that I’m sitting in Aroma again, the café about six blocks from my flat. There is a group of six old men chatting behind me and I’ve tried to follow some of the conversation. The nice black gal who works here and has decent English taught me a few new words to-day, since I have been consistently missing things — like the Hebrew terms for dine-in and take-out. *grin* So, happy about that. There’s also the usual smattering of cute gals in here and walking down the street; one might wonder if I’m Jewish because of the cute girls, or if the girls are cute because I’m Jewish. *lol* At any rate, my decaf latté was good and the complimentary chocolate that always come with drinks equally good. I’m now off to do some more planning for excursions. Once I’ve broken these boots in a bit I am headed for the next town…

Cultures In Cyberspace

Excerpted from: What’s the Matter with the Internet?, by Mark Poster, 2001.

‘What Can Be The Culture Or Cultures Of Cyberspace?’

To approach the cultural question of the Internet is no easy task. It so fundamentally shifts the registers of human experience as we have known them in modern society and even as they have been known through the ages. Time and space, body and mind, subject and object, human and machine are each drastically transformed by practices carried out on networked computers… Even if one is aware of this and consciously acts in cyberspace as they do in territorial space, reproducing the motivations of the world of bodily presence, the effects of machinic mediation work just as surely to alter the human experience. What, then, can be the culture or cultures of cyberspace?

Audible Sucks

The advice I’ve seen on ‘blogging says to post every day. Hmm, already missed yesterday. Ah, well; when have you know me to follow advice easily, eh? I am the master of my own destiny, damnit, and no rules will confine me! *grin*

To-day I’ve been getting over a wee cold and my throat still feels like it has razor blades in it. My voice is pretty weak, too, which some people might appreciate! I have an appointment with my GP to-morrow, which is an interesting coincidence since I don’t get sick all that often these days. I’m going to take care of some things before leaving the country for summer again. I want no repeats of last year’s intestinal nightmare, thank you! We’ll see what she says.

I’ve just been wrestling with some files downloaded from Audible. I wanted to take along some Arabic language tapes to work on some conversational eastern colloquial, and the program I was aiming for (Pimsleur) has gone all digital. Unfortunately, the 30-lesson set that I was looking at comes as two files! Who wants to scroll through a 400-minute track on their iPod, anyway?! Someone was not thinking… I’m working on a work-around (that’s a funky sentence!). Seems there’s a way to burn them to CD, and if that works there seems to be no reason I couldn’t then rip ’em back into files I can manipulate to a more reasonable size. We shall see.

In other news, I signed my contract to teach in the fall at Chapman. Yay! Now I just need to find another couple jobs like that and I can make my bills. *grin* The UCI budget position definitely has me concerned. Anyway, things will work out. I have plans afoot…

The Jetsons Meet the Internet

I was setting up a camera on Robin’s computer to-day and was suddenly reminded of that old cartoon The Jetsons. I remember thinking, along with everyone else, that those video telephones would be a ways off. The technology, of course, has been with us a good while; I recall seeing a video ‘phone in the Cerritos Mall’s GTE store back in, gods, the late ’80s. No-one bought ’em and the idea still proved a long time coming.

But here I am to-day, setting the computers up so that family can telephone me through the Internet while I’m on the other side of the planet, and I had to go and add a camera into the picture (pardon the unconscious pun). Now they can look at my unexpressive, bearded mug as I struggle to find an excuse not to talk for long. I hate telephones; I always have. Something about talking to someone who’s not in the room seems to bother me on a primitive level, and I find the experience embarrassing, confusing, and usually boring. And I can never remember what I really want to talk about when I’m actually on the ‘phone!

Anyroad, now we know why I delayed getting a mobile telephone for so bloody long, and why I’m almost never available through it. I’ve had this thing for just over a year and I’ve still not bothered to get a case for it, which means that most of the time it’s sitting in the pocket of my backpack, far from my hands and ears…

All that said, it might actually be nice to be able to see the folks back home now and then during my trip. I will, after all, be alone and friendless for the better part of the summer, trapped in the pounding heat of the Middle East. Who knows, I might even miss someone! Maybe even you…

Oh-So-Lazy!

Well, not really; I’ve actually kept pretty busy. I haven’t done much on the Web site, though. I have two more volumes finished for KAOS but I’m far too lazy to update the track listing to-night. Maybe to-morrow. I’m also thinking of finally putting my CV on-line. I had planned to do so three years ago and never got around to it. Of course, I was originally going to set up a separate business site using my .com address and my CV would more appropriately have gone there. Instead, I have toned down the language a little and minimised the polemics (trying for a ‘R’ rating, instead of an ‘X’!) and gone with a single site for the time being. I’m not motivated enough to develop for this one; I couldn’t imagine trying to keep up two sites at once! *grin*

Anyroad, so the CV idea now comes back to me because Haddie has decided to post his. He also found an old electronic copy of mine (I had lost it when my file server died) so I’ll be able to recover the letters of recommendation without having to re-scan them. Now I just need to remember how to take a .pdf apart… *grin* I’ll probably add it here soon, though, as it’s a nice idea. The letters are fun to show off, too! They’re pretty damn complimentary. What I think I’ll do, however, is set it up in such a way that I’ll be able to keep two separate CVs, one for my past (and present) professional history and one for my academic accomplishments. I imagine that’s the one that will be most useful to me in a year or so when I apply for doctoral programmes, but I’ll probably include my old letters, as well–they’re good character references! *grin*

By-the-by…. Hey, Haddie! Check your e-mail for a gift of code. Dunno how the ‘strict’ limitation will affect my work, and I’m too lazy to keep up with changing Web standards. *grin* At least I’m not using HTML 3.2 anymore! (Lazy… “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”)

I’m going to cut short to-night, even though I’m feeling a good rant coming on. If I start into it, I’ll have to move the London announcement off the front page a day or two sooner than I’d like. I do think I’ll let this one rip soon, though; I’m feeling a little nostalgic for my teenage Reagan-bashing years. He’s gotten too much good press lately from people who obviously have no memory whatsoever for what actually went down in the 1980s. Sure, he was a popular media icon and won two overwhelming electoral victories; does that make him a good president? If one day the coddled masses decide to elect a fascist dictatorship, do I have to support that as well and contribute to the whitewashing of history to defend its “accomplishments” and “democratic ideals”? Nope; I think not. Reagan fucked this country up royally, and anyone who can’t remember or won’t acknowledge that simple fact is living in some alternate universe where the laws of decency and honesty are clearly reversed… More on this to come.

“I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.” -Ronald Reagan

Drat And Blast It!

I just finished a very long journal entry for my German professor and went to submit it and, *boom*, no Internet connexion. Then I remembered… Speakeasy had told me it would be down for maintenance from 2300 this evening until 0500 to-morrow. So, I am now updating a Web-log that no one can see…. not that anyone is up right now, waiting for it… you’re not that devoted to my inane scribbling, are you? Good. There is still sanity in the world.

Anyroad, I was also planning to continue last night’s ruminations… I was going to prattle on about ambiguity and nuances of position… then I was going to yack about the nature of knowledge, the scientific method, the search for truth, and the difference betwixt questions and answers…..

But….

I am now frustrated. And tired. So go away and don’t come back until to-morrow night. *pfft*

Oh, and…

Hey, Marta! Sorry I didn’t write back to-day, but I have no Internet connexion. I’ll write to-morrow, okay?

Hey, Haddie! Update your Web-log! Judas Priest kicks ass! Rock hard and ride free!

Hey, Julie! See you to-morrow night! *grin*

“The people are urged to be patriotic … by sacrificing their own children. Patriotism requires allegience to the flag, which means obedience and readiness to kill father, mother, brother, sister.” -Emma Goldman

Virii… Multiple Varieties…

Huh, so, my friend Mindy has pneumonia, which must suck for her, and my brother’s computer has about 43 different virii, worms, and trojans on it (and counting copies, over 300 virii total), which sucks for me (as I get to fix it). My best thoughts to Mindy for a swift recovery, and my strongest curses to the bastards who’ve been playing with my brother’s machine.

I also did terribly on my German exam, I think, and am worried that I shan’t do so well in the class. *sigh* Weird health is getting to affect my performance during the day. I spent a good part of this fine day with an amazing migraine, and almost no equilibrium. Disturbing. Still, it’s par for the course, given what the doctors are investigating me for. No hints yet, but it’s not very good.

There are a million other things I’d like to blather on about, but it’s late, and I’m frustrated with his computer, and I have to get up early to study for a maths quiz, so I need to concentrate on the task at hand.

George W. Bush is a pathetic little monkey. That was the saddest performance I’ve ever seen from a public figure. Wait, sorry, I forgot about Quayle and Buchanan (who is quite honestly terrifying). Still, Bush is a grade-A moron, and it’s obvious enough who the real president is. Kerry’s a pathetic ass, and no better than any Republican, as far as I’m concerned, but I still hope people vote for him over Cheney ⁄ Bush come November.

Not that I won’t be voting for Nader again… third time in a row, baby! *grin*

Peace and Cherry Sours to the world.

“Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.” -Oscar Wilde

Weekend

Nice weekend…. I have a memorial service for a deceased friend to-morrow, and then I get to study for two mid-terms. Happy happy. I am tired and sick and going to sleep, so go away and find something better to do with your day.

Oh, I’ve been having some problems with the hardware on this machine, so if the site disappears for a while, by all means, send me an e-mail and let me know- it may have gone down and I haven’t noticed yet. Think I have another bad disc, but don’t have the time for full diagnostics yet. Tired… grammar slipping….

Also, I just changed the music page for the first time in almost two years.

Sleeping now….

“It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him.” -Arthur C. Clarke

{note: reference is to defunct version of this site.}

Well How Da Ya Like Dat?!

I got home and me Internet access was down! Turns out some yahoo in the central office of my ISP had replaced the card for my circuit outside of the maintenance hours. Or, that it had just failed at an inconvenient moment and they replaced it as fast as possible. Given their over-all quality of service, I’ll guess it’s the latter. Either way, it was back up within 10 minutes of my noticing it.

To-day was quite unproductive all-in-all. I got some shtuff read for my class, but not much else. I did start work on an essay (on the sociological impact of our growing dependence on high-technology), but got bored and set it aside. I haven’t been able to concentrate on much of anything to-day. *shrug* C’est la vie.

Inter-Term

I am so excited! I start my inter-term class to-day: Chinese Civilisation. It should be a gas, ‘cuz I know precious little about Chinese history (relative to the West, that is) and I haven’t thought much about it since my high school world history class! *grin* I’ve already started reading (of course!) and I’m most of the way through pre-history (neolithic period, early dynasties); fun stuff so far.

Not much else to report yet, though I daresay I didn’t finish getting ready for school. I still have my notebook to fix up, for example. As much as I like SuSE, I’m tired of them not supporting the sound chipset on my Toshiba, so I’m gonna take the notebook back to Red Hat or somethin’. I should also clean out my bag…

Note about yesterday- took a while to set up Haddie’s machine ‘cuz I found out he had a dyin’ hard disk, with bad sectors in the mbr. Once that was resolved, it was pretty painless. SuSE box, Samba, Apache2, PHP, MySQL, etc. Should be a nice dev. and hosting platform for him, and I hope he digs it.

addendum: Mandrake

After the million-and-one problems that drove me away from Mandrake and into the arms of SuSE for my desktop systems, I decided to try the newest Mandrake for my notebook (since SuSE will not support the sound chipset on my Toshiba Tecra 8100 any more … bastards…). So far, it’s not nearly as crappy as the last two or three versions I tried. With a little work, I can get this set up the way I like. However, I have one major gripe: THEY REMOVED FREECELL!!!! I don’t know what possible rationale those fools could have had for removing the freecell package from gnome-games, but they did, and I’m having a hell of a time getting it back. I had 430 wins last semester, and I’d really like to keep playing…. This is a deal-killer for Mandrake if I can’t get it back. (bitch, bitch, bitch… listen to me bitching….).

update: I got Freecell back! I had to remove the Mandrake version of gnome-games and piece it together myself, but I now have all of them back, including my beloved Freecell… my preeeecious Freecell. So far this is coming along well, and with any luck, I’ll be able to finish configuration before school tomorrow.