Month: May 2005 blog archive

what to do with an old computer - 31 May 2005

PC Mag has an article listing 10 things to do with an old computer. I tend to upgrade existing machines so I don’t have any old machines laying around at the moment, but I’ve been wondering what to do with old computers when I end up with one. Before reading this article I was thinking […]

Categories: Technology
11 steps to a better brain - 31 May 2005

The New Scientist has a list of 11 steps to a better brain. None of them are revolutionary. In fact, I would venture to say that most college students already use several of the techniques to do better on exams. I disagree with the first one because I’m not keen on the idea of using […]

Categories: Useful
unsolvable math problems - 25 May 2005

I once heard of a story about a student who arrived late to class and saw three math problems on the board. He wrote them down, assuming they were homework assignments. A few days later he went to the professor and asked if it was too late to turn in the homework assignments because they […]

Categories: Productivity
playing by the rules - 25 May 2005

Anyone who has played UNO is probably familiar with the phrase, “Oh, we play it like this.” For instance, some people say you can match a card with an exact duplicate at any time. That’s just one of the many variations people play by and it’s no big deal if that’s the consensus, but what […]

Categories: My Thoughts
things you never knew existed - 22 May 2005

Here’s a nostalgic tidbit from my childhood. As a kid, I spent more money on items from the Johnson Smith catalog than any other single expense I can think of. Most of the items aren’t all that appealing to me now, but I can remember wanting to buy something from nearly every page in their […]

Categories: My Thoughts
our impressions of things - 17 May 2005

Several years ago I worked as a system administrator and our workroom had several computers hooked up to a variety of monitors. One of the monitors was a monstrous 21 inches and I observed an interesting phenomenon. No matter how slow the machine was that we plugged into it, it felt faster when we used […]

Categories: My Thoughts
fake error message on windows - 16 May 2005

On a Windows XP machine that has never been connected to the internet, the error dialog below was displayed. It has a modem to dial in to a centralized server to transfer data, but I don’t see how any other nefarious machines could contact it while that’s happening. In any case, the dialog appeared while […]

Categories: Technology
SuSE 9.3 configuration - 13 May 2005

I recently got a new computer and installed SuSE 9.3. In the process of gettings things the way I like them, I ran into a few gotchas. To help others avoid spending time on the same things I did, here are the solutions I found. I hope others can benefit from this information. Display manager […]

Categories: Linux
filtered underpants - 12 May 2005

My daily desk calendar described a rather humorous yet potentially useful invention. It’s called Under-Ease. Here’s the explanation they provided. Colorado inventor Buck Weimer has released underpants that contain a powerful charcoal filter to remove the unpleasant smell of intestinal gas. Weimer invented the garment for his wife, who suffers from a gastrointestinal disorder called […]

Categories: Humor
food challenges - 09 May 2005

Cameron referred me to this CNN article about restaurants that offer food challenges. You know the deal – if you eat it all within the allotted time, it’s free. One of the restaurants they mention is Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub, which I wrote about last July. If Takeru Kobayashi, hot dog eating champion, ever wanted […]

Categories: Entertaining
10 ways to live longer - 04 May 2005

I read with interest the Forbes’ list of 10 ways to live longer. Some items are easier to do than others, but based on the list, I think I can expect to live a pretty long life. According to the what age will you die quiz, I will be 88 when I shuffle off this […]

Categories: Useful
convert webshots files to jpegs in linux - 04 May 2005

I like to change my desktop background every once in a while, for variety. A friend of mine has tons of desktop images, and he told me he got almost all of them from a site called I went there and found hundreds of great-looking desktop wallpapers (or backgrounds) to choose from. The only […]

Categories: Linux
kim peek, the rain man - 03 May 2005

I recently had the privilege of meeting Kim Peek, the inspiration for Dustin Hoffman’s character in the movie Rainman. Indeed, not only did I get to speak with him, but we literally rubbed noses. During the meeting he would randomly walk over to people (I had a suit on and apparently he likes people with […]

Categories: My Thoughts
recipe for simplicity - 01 May 2005

I like to find ways to simplify my life, so I read Linda Pierce’s recipe for simplicity with interest, but I was not impressed. Some of the items make sense, but others are unrealistic. For instance, suggestion #3 says, “Limit your work (outside of the home) to 30 hours a week, 20 if you are […]

Categories: My Thoughts