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Megafest 5.0

Started: 2006-05-28 19:32:27

Submitted: 2006-05-28 20:11:28

Visibility: World-readable

It's Sunday evening, the day before Memorial Day, the last night of Megafest 5.0. I'm sitting on Yanthor's front porch, watching the sun set, watching planes fly across the sky, enjoying the slight breeze in the humid evening air. It smells like Lincoln in May and August, at the beginning and end of the school year at Union College. The beginnings and ends were full of anticipitation and memory.

I can hear the neighbor's sprinkler, and see the unfinished irrigation installation: An anti-siphon device is mounted to a pipe protruding from the wall, but the outlet pipe terminates into open air. Earlier I photographed their satellite install; they have two one-LNB dishes, a configuration I'm not used to.

Kiesa and I drove out to Lincoln on Wednesday. We worked half days; I stayed home and played with Visio on my dining room table. We listened to a space opera audio book, The Vor Game, by Lois McMaster Bujold. It's a bit more operatic than the Honorverse but far less than my last audiobook adventure, Deathstalker. Unfortunately, it's the middle of the series, so I kept turning to Kiesa (who read series) to figure out how everything was supposed to fit together. She wasn't much help; she started reading the series with this book.

I played several multiplayer games of Civilization IV with Yanthor; after being wiped out in our first game we built for military might and annihilation the AIs in our second and third games. I talked Yanthor into buying Illuminati (which I bought to bring to the Megafest but forgot to bring), and we played (so far) one game each of Settlers of Catan and Seafarers of Catan. Yanthor won all three games; he colluded with Humblik to win Illuminati. (He played as the UFOs, which made it harder to figure out what his special goal was.)

I haven't written any code this Megafest (unless one counts the HTML I'm writing now, which is a stretch); my major project was to install Debian on my Mac Mini (which I'm now calling Sasami) and my work laptop. I was afraid of repartitioning either system because I didn't have full backups (and I left my Mac system install disks at home), so I acquired a 100 gig USB hard drive and installed PowerPC Debian. The install went well, until it came time to install the boot loader, which failed mysteriously. I poked around online, learned far more about NewWorld PPC booting than I thought possible, played with the Open Firmware prompt, and finally managed to boot to my shiny new kernel... only to discover that it didn't have native USB support (it relied on modules), which meant I couldn't load my root filesystem. Oops. I contemplated the merits of cross-compiling a USB kernel, or figuring out how to use an initrd, or simply partitioning my internal drive and being done with it. (If my shiny new USB hard drive won't work for a Linux drive, I can always use it as a backup drive, which Kiesa keeps reminding me would be a good idea.)

Movie voting keeps getting less important; we especially enjoy voting for movies, but we never get around to watching any of them. Earlier in the week, Humblik came up with some suggestions to improve the accuracy of the "happiness" ranking. I'm now entertaining suggestions on how to make movie voting more relevant for the new way of doing things. We saw X-Men III on Friday afternoon, which was amusing.

I managed to tear myself away from Megafest activities yesterday afternoon to go Geocaching. My primary mission was to deposit a travel bug I've been hoarding for entirely too long; I dropped it at a random cache in east Lincoln.

(See also Megafest Log for more live content. Except that I was the only one who really posted during the Megafest.)

IIS on NT is like a screen door on a submarine made of Swiss cheese.
- Jaeger