Bad Juju

First it was the cable internet connection. Then it was the living room PC I use as a music server. And then it was the Terminix report. This was supposed to be the Phoenix vacation where I dabble a little at the chores and relax a lot. It turned out to be more work than I signed on for. It sounds like “bad juju” to me.

I first heard the term “bad juju” on Deadliest Catch, the Discovery series on king crab fishing in the Bering Sea. The captain used the phrase. He and the crew had a bad day. I looked the term up on the internet. In Western vernacular it seem to stem loosely from a West African concept meaning “bad luck”. Supposedly it is attributed to a malevolent force, such as a voodoo hex.
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Windows in Mac “wrong direction”

Parallels Desktop 3.0 for MacIf you’re a Mac owner, there are some pretty cool products for those times when you have to run Windows.

As I understand it, those products include software that comes with the Mac OS itself. Pictured here is a third-party product, Parallels. There is certainly enough top-quality software for most Mac needs, including Office for Mac, but there are additional thousands of good programs that, for better or for worse, are only written for the PC.
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CAT 5 Throughput With Cheap Bulk Cable

Category Five Hurricane: Winds greater than 155 mph (135 kt or 249 km/hr). Storm surge generally greater than 18 ft above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings.

Category 5 Cable (UTP) (Unshielded Twisted Pair) : A multipair (usually 4 pair) high performance cable that consists of twisted pair conductors, used mainly for data transmission. Note: The twisting of the pairs gives the cable a certain amount of immunity from the infiltration of unwanted interference. category-5 UTP cabling systems are by far, the most common (compared to SCTP) in the United States. Basic cat 5 cable was designed for characteristics of up to 100 MHz. Category 5 cable is typically used for Ethernet networks running at 10 or 100 Mbps.
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PC in a Drum

L Series enclosuresNo, it’s not a drum, it’s a custom PC enclosure made of maple, and accepts the standard build-it-yourself PC hardware.

I’ve got to admit this is way cool. I’m not a musician, but if I were a drummer, or just the music lover that I am with lots of room to display nice things, I would have to have one of these. In my apartment I can always plead, “but where would I put it?”
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Correspondence: More on DataDesk Keyboards

I think DataDesk has been in the slow process of going out of business for about a decade, but not enough people ever show up at the office at one time to close it. I think they congregate there mainly to party when someone actually buys a keyboard.

I agree they are the most brilliantly designed ergonomic keyboards ever made. But they were noisy. Complaints at the office made me retire mine – people thought I was “angry” when I was typing, until I figured out what was going on, explained, and apologized.
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Restoring Offline Printer to Service

How to troubleshoot a printer that won’t print:

  • Try printing a test page
  • Check USB or Ethernet connections, if any
  • Check Print Server and ability to locate printer
  • reboot
  • repeat first three steps
  • glance over to the right and see if there’s any paper left in the printer
  • Works every time.

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    DataDesk Keyboard Fans

    Five years ago I posted a review on the DataDesk 101E keyboard. I went out to the DataDesk website today and it is still there; it looks much like what I can remember from the year 2001. Not many people know about this excellent but obscure keyboard. Still, I’ve received a trickle of mail on the topic. The latest round was just a lot of plain fun; with the author’s permission I’ve copied it below.
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    Things I learned, Windows XP Pro, Vol. XXIV

    1. If installing a new SATA drive that is also going to be your system or boot drive, make sure you first use another machine, or DOS, to make it your C drive. If you let the XP installer do it, it will become your H drive. This will actually work, after a fashion, but causes obvious complications in a world that looks for drive ‘C’.
    2. If you get an ‘H’ drive, boot into DOS, and delete the partition under FDISK.
    3. Make a new primary DOS partition. It will be drive C. Do not waste time formatting it.
    4. Insert the Win XP Installation CD.
    5. BIOS will try to boot into your new DOS partition, which is not a system disk. So,
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    Music PC in Living Room Stereo

    Finished project installed The Silverstone project is more or less complete. I’ve been playing music in the living room for several hours without once changing a CD – or, for that matter, loading one.

    iTunes is happily cranking out WAV files on the 300GB hard drive. The acid test, I knew all along, was going to be: but how good does all this sound through the big front and rear living room speakers? It sounds great! Despite surprises and setbacks you may have followed on my “Silverstone Project”, the project was very worhwhile. I am happy and satisfied.
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    More Involuntary Upgrade

    ASUS EN6600GT Graphics CardWell, the power supply arrived last week. I finally got around to installing it in my new Silverstone upgrade project. The 24 pin connector fit the motherboard. I installed the CDR/DVD, the DataPort slot for the big 300GB second storage drive, the 40GB SATA C drive, the floppy drive, and all the connectors and cables. Let’s see. Anything else? Oh yes, my old faithful AGP graphics card.
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