Windows under submission

Using Cygwin, I’ve finally managed to turn a Windows XP machine into a usable imitation of a UNIX system, for some script processing that requires a program (Event Viewer log converter) not available or create-able on a Linux box.

iMac G5 hardware problems

I got my iMac G5 almost six months ago, and it worked perfectly until two days ago. It started occasionally hanging for 2-3 seconds with “snowy” video, and would then go back to normal. A complete reformat/reinstall didn’t solve the problem, and I started seeing a lot of these in the system.log:

Feb 28 04:11:05 coldshot kernel: Graphics chip error! Restarted.
Feb 28 04:13:54 coldshot kernel: Graphics chip error! Restarted.
Feb 28 04:49:46 coldshot kernel: Graphics chip error! Restarted.
Feb 28 05:03:22 coldshot kernel: Graphics chip error! Restarted.
Feb 28 05:12:38 coldshot kernel: Graphics chip error! Restarted.

Running the Apple Hardware Test CD resulted in a diagnosis of bad VRAM (built into the system board). This morning I called AppleCare, and I should have a replacement “midplane” (motherboard) here within five days, along with installation instructions.

Mortgage-related postal spam

We’ve lived in this house for just about a month now, and so far, have received FIFTEEN of those letters advertising refinancing or mortgage insurance. Three of them today, and FOUR of them on a single day last week. I’m really getting sick of it.

Got my guitar back!

Got a call from Ron Pace this afternoon, telling me that my guitar was already done! He’d originally estimated that he’d be done next week, but said that he had another pickup swapout to do and he decided to do mine at the same time.

So, we went by on our way to dinner and picked it up. It looks great, and sounds even better.

I need to get some cream-colored volume and tone knobs and a switch tip now, though, to make everything match.

Making Music

I finally got most of my guitars and musical equipment unpacked and setup. I’m taking the MiM Strat down to Ron Pace tonight to have a set of Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups put in.

It seems that guitar work is much cheaper in Houston than in Austin – this will cost me less than $75 for pickup and setup work, while in Austin it would have run me twice that.

shufflin’ it

As a “thank you” for updating her website for the past few years, the mother of one of my consulting clients bought me a 512M iPod shuffle. This is just so tiny and cute, and I can fit all of SRV’s studio albums on it with 128M to spare for normal data storage.

Performance Review

Got the final results of my 2004 Performance Review today. “Exceeded Expectations”, and two glowing paragraphs of praise from both of my managers. Yay!

The Great Southern Adventure

In short: Took Amtrak from Houston to Biloxi, MS, then drove a U-Haul truck full of furniture back to Houston, over the weekend.

The long version (click links for pictures):
* 12-hour Amtrak train trip turned into an 18 hour train trip, because the train kept having to stop and wait on freight trains to go past.
* 18 hours in a cramped compartment on the train isn’t fun, but it was better than being in coach.
* I’d never been to a casino before. Playing the 25-cent slot machines, I won $15.
* 450 miles and two very aching bodies later, we had the 14″ U-Haul truck (nicknamed “pepe”) in our driveway and the furniture unloaded into the garage.

Edit: Okay, it was a 14′ U-Haul, not a 14″ 🙂