Texas Small Towns Rock!

I just updated my driver’s license, in person, with vision test, identity verification, and photograph in less than six, 6!, minutes. This time includes walking into the DPS office, filling out the form, chatting with the nice lady, and getting back into my car. There was no line in the office and only two people filling out forms. Not long ago I drove by the Austin DPS office on the way to the dentist. It wasn’t open yet and a line was forming.


I hate DVDs. Mostly the way they take control away from you, the owner of the equipment.

Hailey has some DVDs with at least 15 minutes of commercials. There is one DVD that disables the stop and eject buttons. Once you put it in you are doomed. I told her it was broken and refuse to put it back in.

This weekend I got a All the President’s Men DVD from NetFlix, a 1976 movie with Robert Redford. This is the way DVDs should be. You put it in and the movie starts playing.

No FBI Warning
No Previews
No Buttons Disabled

The disc goes in and the movie starts, if you want a menu you have to press the DVD players menu button the remote. I was so blown away by this that I had to try it twice.

Really awesome and really sad that no modern movie or next generation disc player will offer this simple viewer orientated feature.

My Mom is So Cool!

My mom called to ask me something. So I called to tell her I found what she was looking for, but I decided to tell her in code. She played along just like my friends should!

M: Hello.

D: Gray-eagle this is bat-child I have found the stamps.

M: It’s a go, take-off on 29th.

D: Roger-Roger

M: Bye!

Swiss Army UT Watch

Brianna got me an awesome Swiss Army UT Watch for Christmas. I was wearing it and Hailey took a look and said, “Hey, you’ve got Bevo in your watch.”

Swiss Army UT Watch


[A new airbag report][1] shows that when all crash data is studied, not just those with fatalities, you see an increased chance of death from having an airbag.

>While the value of airbags seems dubious in the new study, the value of seatbelts is not. The analysis found that proper use of a seatbelt reduces the odds of death by 67 percent for any given speed category and airbag availability. ___Airbags, however, cause no statistical difference in car-crash deaths, except for unseatbelted occupants at low speeds___, where the odds of death are estimated to be more than four times higher with an airbag than without. (emphasis mine)

I have always had the fear that an airbag deployment will do more harm than good in my situation because I am short and sit close to the steering wheel.

[1]: http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/node/8072 “New Airbag Report”

Genetically Modified Corn

A diet rich in Genetically Modified Corn (GM) leads to [health defects in rats](http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/story.jsp?story=640430).

Ubuntu — The Hoary Hedgehog Release 5.04

[Ubuntu](http://www.ubuntulinux.org) released their newest version today, [5.04: The Hoary Hedgehog Release](http://www.ubuntulinux.org/504Released). Fun naming conventions aside, this distribution is good enough for my mom to use. I have been running the pre-release version on my home system. I updated from [Debian](http://www.debian.org) Unstable so I didn’t get to experience the true Ubuntu experience, as I had Debian settings left behind.

Today when I came home, I decided it was time to install Ubuntu on my laptop, a HP nw8000. This laptop previously dual booted Win XP and Debian Sid. This is my work machine so I have to keep Win XP around for Netmeeting.

I copied my home directory and config files from my laptop to Brianna’s Mac using rsync. While I waited for the files to transfer to the Mac, I downloaded the relese CD, yes only one, using the torrent link. Despite the huge popularity of Ubuntu and the fact that today was the first day of the release, I was able to download the iso in 48 minutes. I left the Bit Torrent client running to help others, it is still going now.

I used K3B to burn the iso image and rebooted the laptop from the Ubuntu CD. Ubuntu’s installation program boots quickly. It is not a graphical installer, and there should be no apologies for that. It is very easy to get the system going without removing your hands from the keyboard. No mouse is required for this install.

The install preselected good defaults for everything. I didn’t repartion the drive because I didn’t want to mess with Window’s NTFS partition. I did reformat the Linux EXT3 partitions.

Once installed Ubuntu came up supporting sound, the touch pad and pointer, and the [Intel IPW2100 WiFi card](http://ipw2100.sourceforge.net). The default install is a desktop class install with almost everything I need. I installed Ruby version 1.8 and all the ruby libraries, this version of apt supports regex’s so you can say

$ sudo apt-get install ruby1.8$

to install all packages that end with ruby1.8, which covers all th Ruby libraries. To get a C build system, install

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential

Finally to use WPA encryption to talk to my Linksys Router I did

$ sudo apt-get install wpasupplicant

With the packages out of the way I was able to create a wpasupplicant.conf file for my router, and now for the first time ever ….

I am typing this post, in Linux, on my laptop, wirelessly, upstairs.

__It’s a good day__