Friday, October 30, 2009

Ubuntu part 2

I upgraded to Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala yesterday here at work. I think it took about 6 hours. Most of that was probably due to being throttled here and how busy the download site was. I didn't mind.

I like the new login screen but I don't really see too many differences.

When I got home, I decided to try and get the wireless working again. I went to System/Administration/Hardware Drivers and it listed a couple of wireless drivers. I installed one of them and poof - it worked. I was able to login to my router and surf the web.

I then decided to try and get the speaker/headphones problem fixed. Sound comes out of both. I found an Ubuntu wiki page for this model of laptop and started looking around for a solution. One solution was to install Alsamixeguri. I installed it and poof - it worked. Sort of. Now sound never comes out of the speakers. But that is fine with me.

So right now I'm listening to The Doors from my 16g usb drive using VLC.

My next problem to fix is to figure out how to keep from having to change the resolv.conf file so I can get to the firewall here at work. I have to change it every day.

I played around with adding/removing stuff from the panel. Now I have launch buttons for Chrome and TweetDeck.

I installed NetBeans the other day so I played around with the BigDecimal code that JDL emailed to the jug.

So far I'm still liking Ubuntu.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Playing with Ubuntu

My work laptop died last week and PC Support gave me another one just like it. They also left my old pc. I decided that since this laptop was 'dead', I'd see if I could install Ubuntu on it.

The machine would try to boot into Windows but would hang. I guess it was a corrupt file system problem.

So I installed Ubuntu from a cd and it's been working fine, so far.

I really like the Add/Remove Programs app. I can pick from lots of apps. Installing apps that aren't listed, like TweetDeck and Chrome, are a little more work. I'm pretty sure I can add an entry somewhere to have the app look for apps in other places. I'll have to check on that.

Installing NetBeans & Java 1.6 was a breeze thanks to Sun.

I installed a media player called VLC (recommended by @codeless). It seems to work well.

I have to edit the etc/resolv.conf file everytime I reboot so that I can get to the internet. I haven't looked into why.

Another issue I have is that sound comes thru both the speakers and headphones. I found lots of others with the same issue. One solution looked like it was patching the kernel. I don't think I'll do that. I'm sure the problem is a hardware driver kind of thing.

Since I don't really know much about routers and connecting to networks, I haven't been able to get the machine to talk to my wireless router at home. I think part of the problem is a hardware driver.

Overall, the experience has been fine.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

2009 Cardboard Boat Regatta

Kimberly and I went to the Cardboard Boat Regatta this morning. It was a lot of fun and there were a lot more boats than I thought there would be. I've posted my pics on picasa here

We're planning on participating in this next year - it should be on August 28th, 2010. I need some FSM flags for our boats.

Friday, August 21, 2009

USB Thumb Drive not Working

Laura got me a 16g thumb drive for our anniversary. It's big enough to hold a lot of music.

Now I use MedaiMonkey to listen to music that is stored on the thumb drive. (imho, mm is much better than MS Media Player)

Anyway, once in a while, I can't get the darn thing (usb drive) to work. Windows won't connect to it properly. I think I figured out a way to get it working in Windows XP. (I know "well there's your problem")

I go to the "Safely Remove Hardware" window. By clicking the "Display device components" I can see a yellow circle with an ! in it...

I click on the USB Device and click on "Properties":

And the I change the "Device Usage" to "Do not use this device(disable)" and click on OK

Then I click on "Properties" again and switch the "Device Usage" back to "enabled" and viola! It starts working.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Kimberly's 8th Grade Graduation Speech Video

Sorry for the bad quality of the video and sound.

Kimberly's speech starts at about 1:35

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kimberly's 8th Grade Graduation Speech

I thought I'd post Kimbo's speech she will be giving tomorrow -

Nine years ago, two hundred and 20 or so, timid, nervous, kindergartners started school. New to the world of fluorescent lights, and PA systems, they formed bonds with each other, that only young, nonjudgmental children can make. Today, most of those bonds hold strong. Those timid, nervous kindergartners have grown and progressed. They have taken a step up in society. All that they have learned within the walls of Cimarron can still be heard. Heard within the kind and gentle words between friends. Heard within the strong and persuasive way we argue our opinions. Heard within the applause that arises as we cross this stage.
Every one of these students has learned something from one another. Whether it is how to dribble, or the capitol of Louisiana. We each have been imprinted with some image of knowledge from the friendships that we have formed during our 8 to 2:30 shifts. But most importantly, we have all learned something from ourselves: pride and respect. We have striven to be all we can be. To live up to our hopes, and our dreams. We have reached for every goal, everything from being a StuCo Rep, to simply getting up on time. And we are proud. Proud of whom we are as people, and proud of whom each other has become.
You, parents, teachers, grandparents, uncles and aunts, all of you, who see these wonderful kids reaching their potential, surpassing your every expectation, you are the ones who have nurtured us, and taught us how to respect each other, and respect ourselves. You are the ones who taught us to take our first steps toward our future, guided us onto the road of success, so that we may leap into the pool of contentment as adults. And it is our families, our close friends, and our teachers that we will remember later on, that we will recognize as those who supported us through all of our hard times, and cheered for us through our joyous ones. And we thank you, wholeheartedly for loving and caring for us.
Today, we leave this school. This school, that when we first arrived was so intimidating and huge. This school, that has been our home for the past three years. We have taken so much from this school. Knowledge, experience, memories. But today, we leave a legacy. We leave our footprints in the very floors here at Cimarron. You cannot see them, but as future generations pass through these halls, they will feel them. They will walk in our paths. Maybe some of our own children will too. And we will talk of the ‘Old Gym’, and the ‘M Hall’. Places that we know so well, that one-day, may not even exist anymore. Our learned traditions may be long gone by that time. But we will never forget.
And the experience we have gotten here will be put to good use as we enter into high school, one of the last few stones to hop before we truly begin, and can show off our magnificent skills and attributes to the world. Just like when we started our Middle School days, our first few High School days will be tough, and scary. However, our special bonds with one another will provide solid grounds on which to make new friends.
So today, after we walk across this stage, and drive off with our families, we do so as ninth graders. It may not seem as big as we used to imagine, but as we go our separate ways through the halls of high school, always keep this in mind: Whether you go off now to be Bulldogs, Wolves, or Huskies, deep down in your heart, you will always be a Cimarron Panther.

Monday, May 18, 2009

May 18 update

There is nothing special about May 18th (afaik), but thought I'd bring you up to date on what is going on.

Susan is home from her first year at college. She really struggled with trig but hopes to at least get a C. So far this summer, she is helping Mrs. Yellowfish (Edmond Public Schools Indian Education) in the afternoons. They are moving to the building next door and Susan is boxing up stuff for them. She will also be helping with the Johnson O'Malley program in June.

Kimberly is doing pretty well is school. She was asked to give a speech at the 8th grade graduation in a couple of weeks.  She was also asked to write a story for Edmond Sun newspaper. She wants to write about the EPS Indian Education program. Mrs. Yellowfish is really busy but I hope she is able to donate half an hour so Kimberly can get the info she wants for the story.

Susan and Kimberly should be entering some items in the Red Earth crafts contest. Last year Susan won 1st prize for her basket and Kimberly won 2nd and 3rd prize for a basket and some beadwork.

Laura is enrolled in 3 more classes at the school for the blind in Muskogee in June. After the classes, she should be ready to take the test so she will be qualified to teach visually impared children. Next year she will probably be teaching a 3 year old in the Guthrie Public School district a few days a week. The rest of her time will probably be at the alternative school trying to teach the kids that can't (or won't) handle regular school. I just hope she doesn't kill any of the kids.

Not much going on with me. I'm trying to get eclipse and tomcat working here at work. I'm making progress but I'm not quite there yet. I think I'll take some time and learn more about html, javascript, css, etc. I never bothered with learning that stuff since I've never been a front-end guy. I guess I'm more of a back-end guy :-)

My Redneck Ball-Pit is about half full now. We've been putting food scraps in it and I put the first mowings grass clippings in it.

Our garden is looking ok. The scallions were doing well and then we got all the rain and a lot of them seemed to disappear. My beer plants aren't doing anything. I guess you can't grow Coors from an empty can. :(

I saw this quote today and thought it was pretty good - 
Christianity: The belief that some cosmic Jewish Zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.
- Unknown
Until next time.... Brian

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Our Redneck Ball Pit

Since I took Spring Break off, I thought I'd do a little yard work. So I filled up our 2 trash 'cans' with leaves and still had a crap load of leaves left. Instead of filling up a trash can every week for weeks on end, I thought I'd compost the leaves.

I took 25 foot of 4 foot high fence and made a circle, about 8 feet across and started filling it up. It took about 8 hours over 3 days to fill it up. I got most of the easy leaves raked but there are still a lot of leaves embedded in clover. Maybe when I mow, I'll catch the grass (mostly clover) and dump it in the new ball pit.

I call this our Redneck Ball Pit but I could probably call it a Hippy Ball Pit (right J-mac?)

Here are a couple of pictures of Kimberly and the pit:

Monday, February 9, 2009


I've been using the Firefox plug-in for Stumble Upon for a about a week now.

I wasn't expecting to like it much and maybe that is why I really like it.

If you aren't familiar with, it's a website that shows you web sites you might not know about but might be interested in. This is all based on your preferences and your rankings of the sites it show you.

It showed me some site I like, such as, gimp, audacity, and open office.

But it has shown me lots of site I never knew about. Most of these are Java, Open Source, Physics, Atheist, Native American, Motorcycle, and joke related.

I believe they throw in some random pages just to see what you think.

To see my favorites go here .

Now instead of playing solitaire on my pc, I've been stumbling through the web finding some pretty cool sites. I especially like this one.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Regarding Twitter

Twitter is kind of fun. Like a mini blog.

I've been using it for about a month now and it's interesting to see what people are up to.

I've been using the website lately since Twhirl seems to not always want to work. And I don't really like a bunch of apps running on my machine, even if they're small. I tend to run into problems after a while and end up not using them. (a learned behavior?)

I don't plan on getting an iPhone or the like for quite a while but I'd like to be able to get the tweets on my cell phone. I guess I can - I can put in my phone number and it'll send me a text msg.... I'll have to try that.

I guess I have two complaints about Twitter - one is most of the url's are hidden behind a tinyurl link. When I'm at work, I can't get to YouTube or FaceBook, etc. I probably get 'Access Denied' kind of messages on about half the links I try to follow. Tinyurl has the preview link that seems pretty cool but I don't see how to change my settings to use it.

The other thing that bugs me is the 140 character limit. I guess that's the limit on text messages sent via phones (SMS).

There are some things I don't understand yet - what the heck are the # and RT things in the text? The RT ones look like forwarded msgs and the # are infront of TV show names and other stuff.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I fall down, go boom

Monday, January 26, 2009 I fall down and go boom. I stepped on some invisible ice on my front porch and part of me landed on the little fence around the flower garden.

The bruises didn't really hurt or bother me - good thing I was wearing a coat. It was my right knee being contorted in an unnatural way that hurt.

Left arm

Left side

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

That Cern thing explained

I got this from my brother who teaches high-energy physics at Vanderbilt.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I love taskkill!

For years now I have been fighting virus scan and other programs.

My employer forces our machines to run certain tasks and they really slow everything down.

My solution to this point has been to run Task Manager and kill these processes. They seem to start up again intermittently during the day so I have to keep going back to Task Manager whenever my machine seems to be running slow.

A friend at work told me about "taskkill". It does the same thing I've been doing manually. He created a .bat file and put in a few taskkill commands to kill the unwanted tasks. Now we just run the .bat file and the evil, harddrive sucking programs die.

taskkill /f /im vulscan.exe

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Project Euler - programming riddles - Level 1

Yahoo!!! I am now at level 1 on Project Euler!!!

300 baud acoustic coupler

I finally brought my old modem from home to show and tell here at work.

I think it's 300 baud and has a switch on the back to go between full and half duplex.

Remember when ear pieces on phones were round?

I used this at my first DP job to get orders from Wal-mart and Kmart. (This isn't the modem I talked about in the previous blog)

Ex boxers becoming makeup artists for crime survivor ads

I saw a billboard for the Oklahoma Crime Victim Services yesterday and was wondering what that photo shoot was like.

"Bruno here is an ex-feather weight champion from Tulsa, he'll be your makeup artist today, Miss Whatever. He'll be using Speed Boxing gloves today".

Bruno throws a few punches at Miss Whatever, bam bam bam - a few pictures are taken and the director says "I think we need a little touch up on her right eye" bam bam bam again.... maybe he pulls out a knife and make a few cuts...

later, Miss Whatever says, "I hate these shoots! Now I can't work for 3 weeks"

It sounded funny in my head.