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Life on the Other End of the Tech Support Line

probbka Re:L1 is really really bad (337 comments)

Yeah, and then you can REALLY frustrate the people whose problem is that they can't get on the internet!

more than 8 years ago

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They caught the Saddamizer...

probbka probbka writes  |  more than 10 years ago

U.S. President George W. Bush, in a televised speech Sunday, said that the capture will assure the Iraqi people that "that the torture chambers and the secret police are gone forever."

Oh, my, they finally locked up John Ashcroft.
[rimshot]

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Euchromatin!

probbka probbka writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I suppose I've been nerding this up a bit too much. It's a blog, not a freaking guide to using Linux. Well, time to get a little less objective.

I was sitting at dinner tonight, letting the mind wander, and I started thinking about homesickness. Like, the fact that since I've been here at Purdue, I haven't really felt any homesickness at all. This contrasts sharply with my 3 weeks at Rose-Hulman a couple summers ago, most of which was spent over a toilet losing my lunch because I was so overcome with homesickness. Why did that happen there and not here? I think I've figured it out.

In essence, my definition of "home" has three components: the place [my house], the people [friends & family] and the posessions [my computer, my car, and anything else I own]. Now, I think I can pretty much survive any amount of time with at least a majority of items from one of the categories. However, when I was at Rose for an excruciating three weeks, I was totally without anything from any of the three columns. I was unable to go to my house, I might as well have been in China. I had none of my friends or family there. And though I did have my car there, I was rarely in it, so it did me little good.

However, here at Purdue, I've got my computer, and my books, but not my car, and plenty of old and new friends. Plenty from 2 of 3 categories. So, that solves that riddle, which has been bugging me since I got here.

Also, it SNOWED today, and the campus looks pretty good with a blanket of snow. In fact I just got back from wandering around campus aimlessly and looking at it. This may make me alter my plans of driving back up here Friday and Saturday for my finals... I don't want to be driving long distances through this. Might have to wait until Saturday to go home, which would be major suckage.

In nerdy news, Fedora is still going great, I got the DVD player working, and got some of my DIVX movies to play with mplayer. However, I still don't have nvidia 3D support cause I can't get the fucking kernel module to load. Oh well.

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Fantastic Flang File Finally Found!!

probbka probbka writes  |  more than 10 years ago

On a lead from Good old Paco Cheezdom I fruited the roof and contacted Kevin Cogger, the creator of the original Flang File... and he sent it to me. So there it is, for all to see, even though there's probably less than 20 people on the face of the planet who have ever read it.

Here's to flangoliers!

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NEW RED HATE LUNIX!!!!!11

probbka probbka writes  |  more than 10 years ago

All right, well Debian was totally fucked up, and RH9 was a bit crappy. So I installed Fedora Core 1, and let me say I am most impressed. This one's defintely a keeper.

The graphical installer detected everything, including my video card and even MY SOUND CARD!! Sweet.

The RPM thing is sort of a pain, not anywhere near as cool as FreeBSD ports or even apt-get, but I'll live with it for now. Getting Mozilla Firebird has been less than successful, and making XMMS play MP3's was hard (wtf?). But I'm content.

Fedora rocks.

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Nvidia bites the dust!

probbka probbka writes  |  more than 10 years ago

While trying to solve my 256 color dilemma by installing the drivers straight from nvidia's site, the driver-loading-program totally went apeshit. Result: Can't load nvidia.ko. But the kernel needs to load nvidia.ko! nvidia.ko and the kernel are inseperable lovers. And since nvidia.ko is corrupt, the kernel can't load.

Bottom line: I'm back in Windows for a while. If I go back to FreeBSD it'll have to be a clean install. I'm going to weigh my options, and may end up sticking with windows for a while. Sigh... I was just starting to really like FreeBSD too... :(

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You take the good, you take the bad...

probbka probbka writes  |  more than 10 years ago You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and there you have: The Facts of Life. After almost a week of running FreeBSD, I thought I'd do a little write-up on my progress, and my reactions. I've titled it "The Facts of Life", after my favorite early 1980s sitcom.

The Good:

  • Ports: The ports system is the best package-updating system I've yet seen. When I first installed Debian Linux I was amazed at how cool apt-get was, but FreeBSD's ports are even cooler. In essence, the ports system is an easy way of getting and updating almost any piece of mainstream software. All you have to do to install a program is cd to /usr/ports/[port extension, for example firebird is www/mozilla-firebird], then you just make install clean. To deinstall, make deinstall, or to reinstall, make reinstall. So easy.
  • GUI: Let me say that I am aware, first off, that there is nothing particularly special about FreeBSD's GUI, since it uses XFree86 just like anything else. However, I was actually able to get X up and running with Fluxbox, which is way farther than I got in Debian.

The Bad:

  • GUI: Yes, I am aware I just put this as one of "The Good". However, as I type this I am still running in 256 colors, and I don't know how to fix it. Still waiting to hear back from some people at FreeBSD Forums.
  • Compatibility: Lunix, Lunix, Lunix. That's all people build for. From Nvidia drivers, to flash, to mozilla, getting stuff for FreeBSD was a pain compared to getting it for Linux. It makes me want to go try Debian again.
  • Gaim: Which is of course not a problem inherent in FreeBSD. But Gaim is a pain, in my opinion. I found all the options for it, and it seems pretty well customizable, however I CANNOT GET THE OPTIONS TO TAKE EFFECT. I'll uncheck a box, and nothing will happen. I'll look in the options menu. Yep, the box is still unchecked. Restart gaim. Didn't take effect. Yep, the box is still unchecked. Yeah, irritating.
  • Sound: This is another problem I'm sure I'll have across the open source OS world. I can't get my integrated sound card working. It's not even pretending like it wants to work.

The Facts of Life:

FreeBSD is OK overall. I'm gonna keep trying to get to a decent color mode, and I'll probably just buy a $15 PCI sound card if it can promise compatibility.

I may just end up switching to Debian when they release a version that has the 2.6.x kernel in it. Until then, though, I'm going to keep playing with FreeBSD; if nothing else, it's fun to mess with.

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Props to Diamond Joe

probbka probbka writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Thursday night me and "Diamond Joe" Rozzi (the BSD Master of Earhart Hall, not to be confused with "Diamond Joe" Quimby, mayor of Springfield) made an attempt at installing FreeBSD 5.1 on my desktop.

A recap: I got my new hard drive earlier that day, the 80 GB, which was in fact manufactured by Western Digital. I will say this now, but probably forget it later: I will never buy from Western Digital again. I set the hard drive to Primary Master, plugged it in, and the BIOS recognized it... but the POST and afterwards was so slow and clunky, I was starting to think I had knocked something loose on the motherboard in my installation. Paul "PMarks" Marks told me that he had had a Western Digital with the same problem, but when he put it on cable select and put it on the end of the IDE chain it worked fine. Voila, he was right.

So anyway, I decided that FreeBSD is cool and 1337 and I just had to have it, so after installation I had of course the EXACT SAME PROBLEM that I had when I installed Debian: XFree86 does not like my GeForce 4 Ti4400. Everything else on my computer works perfectly except for that. Well, "Diamond Joe" Rozzi told me last night he'd found out that instead of using the "nv" driver (which is the driver for nvidia cards), we should have been using the "nvidia" driver. I have no idea what the difference is, but I hope it works.

I won't get to test it out until Monday when I return to Purdue. So, wish me luck...

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Feeling devious

probbka probbka writes  |  more than 10 years ago

It's another lonely insomniac night. For no good reason.

Looks like I'll be getting a new digital camera for Christmas (hopefully). This will mean I will start posting to my deviantart space again. I can't wait... I've wanted a digital camera for months now. I can't count the number of times I've stopped on my way to class or something and been like "Damn, that would be a GREAT shot."

Also been listening to the George Winston album December. It's the best piano music ever, especially for December of course. If anyone wants a copy, give me a holler, I just might be able to hook you up... wink, wink.

(Over && Out)

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And Sisyphus pushed the rock up the hill...

probbka probbka writes  |  more than 10 years ago

My C drive made a suicide attempt the other day. I'm quite concerned. I just restarted, and it told me that there were bad sectors all over the place, and it had to correct them. So in the process it deleted almost 75% of its stuff.

That's what you get when you buy an IBM Deskstar. I ordered a new Maxtor 80 GB last night, should be here by Freitag, and I'm currently thinking about installing some Open-Source OS on it, maybe FreeBSD. Of course, I'm doomed to failure in that attempt, but so it goes. I'll keep on pushing that rock...

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The power of Christ compels you!!

probbka probbka writes  |  more than 10 years ago I just got back from Thanksgiving break. It was a blast. Spent plenty of time in Steak and Shake, and the movie theatre, with my comerades including (but not limited to, void where prohibited): Greg, Jay, Colin, Louis, Dave, Jozef, Ben, Sean... and of course we had fun with a Jehovah's Witness at the Steak and Shake Thursday night. "Hey, gentlemen, want to hear a parable?" In retrospect, we should have ran then... What's up with preaching in restaurants anyway?

Saw Master and Commander. What a good movie. Also saw Timeline. Uh, what was Michael Crighton smoking when he wrote that shit? There are many questions raised by this movie, including:

  • Why was there a physicist [not only that, a wormhole expert] permanently employed at an archaeological dig?
  • What's the real reason they couldn't take back moderm weapons? It was just assumed that we understood this.
  • Why were they unable to take back any weapons or armor at all? Were the people who found the elaborate peasant's costumes unable to find swords, chain mail, bows and arrows?
  • If you found the glasses on the floor and did not replace them, how can you then conclude that you would then not ever find them? If you never found them, you'd never move them!! [If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go watch the movie, please... or just download the bittorrent. Actually I encourage downloading the torrent because I relish the thought of the makers of this movie losing money and being stolen from.]
  • etc...

But, more to the point, I want to have more Thanksgiving Break. But, only three weeks left, then I get three weeks off. Here's to counting the days until Christmas.

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And in other news...

probbka probbka writes  |  about 11 years ago Oh. My. God.

...in other news, the city of Los Angeles ruled that black is white and up is down, citing past discrimination against African-Americans and the directionally challenged.

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Winter's here

probbka probbka writes  |  about 11 years ago After a good week of high temperatures in the upper 60's, this morning I wake up and it's snowing. And weather.com tells me the wind chill factor is 11. Well, good thing I'd planned ahead so I can skip 2 of my 4 classes (CS180 being cancelled before hand, luckily).

So, I'm just hanging out here today, studying for my math exam which is tomorrow morning. Then right after I get to go home for Thanksgiving.

I can't wait...

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Drinking's bad... mkay...

probbka probbka writes  |  about 11 years ago

So, on this lovely morning/evening, I took a trip down to the lobby to get some M&M's. Upon my return to the wonderful fifth floor, what do my wondering eyes behold, but a little sign on the bathroom door! "Do not enter", it reads. My curiosity piqued, I enter, and am immediately blasted with a stench which recalls memories of frog dissection in 10th grade biology... then I see some poor student pratically swimming in his own vomit, lying face-up on the floor. And of course, I think, "What would Jesus do?"

Jesus would obviously turn his vomit into wine so everyone can party a little hardier. Not being of the magical persuasion, I decided that perhaps I should take some other action.

My Basic Aid Training course from 3rd grade suddenly flashed into my mind. Being unsure how I could help him with diagrams of my house and the best fire escape routes, I then tried to think of something else. Aha! CPR. Well, let's take a pulse. It's there. Good. Is he breathing? Looks like it. Sorta. But then when I poke him with this here cattle prod he doesn't respond... I'd better hurry up and do something, cause I hear alcohol poisoning can kill you so bad you can die from it.

So, I run downstairs in an attempt to find Somebody with Authority. They'll know Standard Operating Procedure, as I'm sure this happens on a weekly basis while I'm sleeping. Sure enough the staff resident handled it in a cool manner, calling up the paramedics, who promptly arrived and dragged off the unconscious mutton-head hanging onto their shoulders.

So, uh, alcohol is bad for you... mkay?

Mkay.

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Turn down the fucking rap music!!!

probbka probbka writes  |  about 11 years ago

I didn't put that sign on my door just for kicks! Well actually, at first I did. But now it's like you're not even reading the sign! Please, Mr. Rap-Loving Individual on the floor above me, turn down your 'music'. For the love of christ.

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Attak-Reload

probbka probbka writes  |  about 11 years ago Note to self: Linux sucks.

A couple weeks ago I partitioned off 30 gigs to play around with Debian. After a week of it I had had enough (could only get Gnome working after hours of fiddling, no 2.4.x kernel support for my GeForce 4, etc etc). Anyway, the other day I decided to reclaim the 30 gigs for Windows, cause Bittorrent is a greedy mistress.

I expected some trouble because I didn't (was unable to with the worthless XP installer disc) format the MBR, but had no trouble until this morning. XP slowed to a crawl, and so I had to hard-reboot, and then the screen just spewed garbage (but, to my relief, it was getting past the BIOS screen). Call up Paul Marks, ask him for a 98 disc, and fdisk'ed the MBR (and FPROTTED THE TARBALL) faster than you can blink. Troubles over.

And they all lived happily ever after.

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Introduction

probbka probbka writes  |  about 11 years ago Well, it's a Thursday, and as such I'm bored out of my mind. So I'm gonna establish a little blog here for the hell of it. Why not?

Introductions are in order. I'm Matt Kramer, a Purdue student. I have a web site at aynrandmcnally.com. Also, there's my Purdue University space. If you hadn't guessed I'm currently a first-semester freshman, majoring in Computer Science (and maybe Math double major) at Purdue. I decided to go there after being rejected by MIT for being a white male (no, I'm not a racist, but I know that MIT is big into affirmative action), and by Rose-Hulman for being middle class. I was technically accepted to Rose, however I would have graduated with $80,000 in debt. Yeah, no thanks.

Purdue's an OK place, though, for sure. It's not like I'm not being challenged or meeting people smarter than myself. I'm not meeting many friends here, though... not that I haven't met people who are friendly, but I haven't met anyone that I really find it worthwhile to talk to. It took me a while to find such people in middle/high school, and it'll take me some time here.

I'm really into reading: fantasy, classic literature, and historical non/fiction are my favorites. I'm currently in the middle of The Plague by Albert Camus. It's quite good, I think I like it mainly because I can so relate to the isolation Camus describes. I'm also currently in the middle of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon, an awesome book if you're interested in Rome, I highly recommend it. How and why the Roman Empire fell has always been a subject of fascination to me... but I digress...

My religion has been a matter of some confusion to me of late. I was raised a Roman Catholic, and went to grade school in a private Catholic school. This affected (effected?) me greatly, and at the age of about 12-13 I decided I did not believe in God, and renounced the Church. Up until that time I had been the most devout of Catholic kids... I went to confession and mass once a week. That's the result of the schooling. But when I got into private schools, I started thinking a lot on the issue, and realized that a lot of what the Church taught me was bullshit. Unfortunately (as I now see it), my rejection of the Church came packaged with an utter rejection of a belief in God. It was, in retrospect, just as irrational as my belief in the Church, but I believed that there was no God.

Years have passed since then, and I went from being a socialist, to a communist, to an "Ayn Randroid" (what an effect The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged had on me!), then finally I stopped believing in Ayn Rand and became what I was up until a few months ago: a rationalist, an atheist, and a Libertarian (big L!). But recently I have given a lot of thought to the issue of the existence of God, and I have a lot more thinking and reading to do on the issue, but I now think thus: The Universe had to be started by something. All this something we see around us didn't come from nothing. Let's call whatever something that created all these other somethings God. It's like Aristotle's explanation for the existence of God -- which I have yet to fully read and comprehend. But I'm working on it.

I've been talking to my cousin Ryan a lot about it. He's two years older me, and studying philosophy with the intention of being a Catholic priest (though to me he seems somewhat doubtful as to what path he wants to pursue in life). Anyway, as he explained it to me from his extensive reading, he believes that it is possible to prove rationally that a God or gods exist (as, like, Plato did). But then the rest of it, what you believe about that God or gods, is a matter of faith. And I believe that no real answers can be reached through faith. I have no faith. So I conclude that we cannot know the nature of God, but he exists. I suppose that makes me an agnostic theist.

Anyway... what else about me. Physical appearance. I'm 6'4" and 335 pounds. I've been working out more and more, just this morning I ran a mile in 13 minutes, 24 seconds (new personal best). I've gotten this heavy by sitting on my computer, doing things like typing a blog on slashdot (and playing CS and Morrowind...) for most of my life. It's a real shame, and I'm trying to reverse the effects of 19 years of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Well, that's about all I have to say for now. If you want to contact me you can email me.

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This is the first post of the rest of my life

probbka probbka writes  |  more than 11 years ago

This is the first post. I may turn this into a permanent journal, I am not sure yet. In any event, ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.

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