Friday, January 25, 2008

Economic Stimulus

Problem: I'm in a ton of debt, and all indications are that I'm going to make even less money in the coming year.
Solution: Send a bunch of my income back to the people who owe it to me.

Now, I'm no economist, but how exactly does this help me?

Oh, right! It helps me get re-elected (I almost forgot what year it was)!

[not that I have any intention of returning my rebate check, mind you ;-)]

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I decided to take a break from diddling with my "new" Puppy Linux laptop and instead spend some time diddling with my (legitimately) new PSP. I'm a big fan of both the Metal Gear and Final Fantasy series that have been fixtures on Sony platforms for years now, and I look forward to getting equally drawn in to Portable Ops and War of the Lions soon. I also love the having the ability to watch portable video on a screen larger than a postage stamp (sorry iPod...I'll still listen to your music!).

However, it also occurred to me that the PSP probably has enough compuing power to run some of the old PSX (aka PS1) games I still have lying around, and surely some smart geek has come up with a PSX emulator for the PSP. Fortunately I was correct, although apparently quite behind the curve. It turns out that it's possible to install custom firmware on the PSP that will allow one to play PSX games on it (yes, that's the PSX logo on my PSP screen), among other things. The process seemed mildly scary, since the only way to get the PSP into a state that will allow you to install custom firmware involves messing with the battery & memory stick. However, I'm delighted to say that it was much easier than I anticipated, and thanks to the efforts of Dark AleX and colleagues, I can now play Vagrant Story and FFVII wherever I want to! WOOHOO!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

An Unfortunate Manifestation of Democracy in the Middle East

To borrow a line from Al Franken, this video is a scathingly partisan critique of the security barrier Israel has been building in the (occupied) West Bank. It's a shame that this is how our "democratic" ally in the region behaves.

Why I Love Puppy Linux

Question: what to do with an old (e.g., Intel Celeron III, 128 MB RAM) IBM Thinkpad?
Answer: install Puppy Linux and use as desired.

And it's really almost that easy. Really. See, Puppy's so small the entire OS can be loaded into RAM, so it's wicked fast, even on archaic equipment. It's designed to be very easy to use and configure, and it is! It took me about 30-45 minutes of diddling around to get the basic initialization and my wifi connection up and running (full disclosure - I do have some experience with other flavors of Linux, but I don't think it mattered much). I'll be playing around with adding more features in the next couple of days, but so far I'm thrilled at the ease with which I've reclaimed my "obsolete" hardware!
UPDATE: I've now installed the OpenOffice suite, which works well (much faster than it was under Kubuntu!), although I'm not sure how much I'll need it, now that I'm not writing theses any more. I'm still struggling with getting Wine to work...It seems to install fine, but I can't get BibleWorks to work with it, which is the whole point. More to come...