Category Archives: Home life

Computer systems

Long story short, I’m less than enchanted with MSFT these days, as a company, its operating systems, or it’s other products. There is a reason it is called by many “the Borg.”

In any case, I had an old laptop; very old – bought as a WOOT deal by a neighbor years ago, and given to me for free because the kids didn’t want it). It’s only got 2 GB of memory, and a 32GB HD, and the latest “update” to Win10 broke it, and with nothing on it but the OS it didn’t have enough room to update. So I bit the bullet, pulled out an old Linux Mint USB drive I picked up a while back, and tried it out. It worked faster running Mint off the USB drive than Windows did on the HDD. So I paved the windows disk and installed just Linux Mint, no residual Windoze10 at all. It found my network drivers, could surf the net, and do everything you need a small, cheap, expendable laptop to do. And it had ~20GB of disk space to spare for programs, data, whatever. Totally cool. Ran a few largely automated updates, and it all worked flawlessly. interface was windows-like and easy. Libre Office installed fine, so I can write or do normal modest “productivity” things.

If you have an older machine, and don’t like the MegaCorp Monopolies, support the alternatives, so that they can work on better, more moral AI warships :-).

Update – it works fine with an Ethernet cable plugged in, but doesn’t want to see the WiFi . Claims the drivers are installed, doesn’t see any WiFi anywhere, even though it used it two days ago after the initial install just fine.

Educational Thought II

As a teacher, there are few questions I despise as much as “is this going to be on the test?” It means the student has no interest or concern for the implications or applications, no curiosity, no reason to think about it for more than a microsecond beyond regurgitation on a mandated exam in order to get the gold star, the shiny class participation trophy.

And yet when I asked my daughter’s history teacher what the goal was in using Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” was in an AP US History class, his answer amounted to “it’s on the AP test.”

Continue reading Educational Thought II

Dad Jokes

As you likely know, among other things I’m a teacher. In math class today, I made two new (to me, anyway) dad jokes. In geometry, teaching the basics of 3D solids.

What did they do to the tomb robber who raided the pharaoh’s pyramid? They tossed him in prism.

Polyhedron is a Greek word, made of of “poly,” meaning many, and “hedra,” meaning face, or base. It’s the Greek word for “politician.”

Happy New year

Do something new and different.

Do something you’ve been putting off, but will feel better once you have done it.

Make the new year worth remembering.

For myself, I just did a little bit of bullet casting for the first time. Turned out all right, once I got a heat source that worked right.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, all ya’ll.

Much to be thankful for. Healthy family, generally speaking. Great wife and kids. Employed. Still married after twenty pretty good years. Latest book published with good reviews. Hillary is still not president. Car is still running. Weather is not bad. Roof’s been reshingled. Hollywood is imploding, and it looks like congress might be next.

So, overall, life’s not bad. Oh, sure, there are things I could complain about, but they are pretty small potatoes in the historical big picture.

Give thanks, and carry on.

Happy 4th!

The Declaration of Independence, the Original Brexit!

Celebrated with explosions and guns and food and family and all things the crew of Tajemnica would approve of.

Wasn’t always easy.

Wasn’t always fun. Been more than a few rough patches and growing pains. And now, apparently, having a moment of sanity among the encroaching senility and decadence of old age and too much easy living. But still the greatest nation on earth. That may change in a few years – all things change, all empires fall and fade – but we’re on the right path for a few more years.

Heinlein’s future history spoke of the Crazy Years. We’re in them. My future history so far published has been deliberately vague, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m predicting more tough years ahead, but all in not lost. Venice arose out of the fall of Rome. America rose from the faltering British Empire. But Haiti arose from a faltering French empire, so nothing is guaranteed.

For today, celebrate what has gone before and gone right, while praying for things to improve, and work toward making it so.