The Treehouse Blog

Archive for July, 2006

How hard is it to keep a thinkpad running?

by on Jul.30, 2006, under Computers

I used to like thinkpads. They were black, IBM tried to be nice about Linux support, and the maintenance docs were readily available online. However, my 600e had 2 issues requiring return for repair, 2 more issues requiring parts replacement after warranty, and then had to be retired due to not working well anymore.

I had thought my R40 was doing better, but perhaps not. A month or so ago I had to replace the hard drive (not entirely blameless here… it was transported frequently with a running drive), and now it seems the video subsystem is beginning to collapse. This morning I noticed some “visual artifacts” that didn’t get fixed with a reboot, and aren’t a problem with the LCD, as the VGA port shows them as well. So, guess what that means? A new system board. Fun, fun. I’m seriously considering selling the thing as parts and moving to a Dell D410 or D420, or perhaps skipping a personal laptop and using a work laptop. The next laptop will be small and light, that much I know.

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Frustrating Day

by on Jul.12, 2006, under Happenings, Linux

Unfortunately, it seems that anything requiring cooperation and coordination is hard to do. I spent the day investigating a likely impossible solution to a problem that doesn’t end up needing solved. While at the same time still not having the ability to work on the problem that really needs solved. And no documentation or plan has been given to me other than 3rd party verbal snippets to the overarching project responsible for the whole situation. Sigh.

Luckily, other than this blog, I’ve been pretty successful at not letting the day ruin my evening. I got to visit with Chris a bit, following his trip to Illinois.

And one more note… recent kernel upgrades for FC5 require a new firmware image for the ipw2200 wireless driver, so remember that.

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by on Jul.11, 2006, under Happenings

My great-grandfather’s family typically has a reunion on the 4th of July, but for the last few years it has been held on a weekend near that day, and this year it was as well. So, on the 4th, my (less extended) family had a food at my place. We scheduled it for lunchtime, figuring we’d beat the storms predicted, but instead hit them directly. Oh well. I did get to see Discovery launch live on TV, something I’ve never before had the opportunity to witness. Pretty neat.

This past Saturday we visited with friends of the family over near Shade Gap. Their neighbors put on a professional fireworks show that would put most municipalities to shame (ok, so I’m comparing them to Shippensburg). But it was really quite impressive, and we had front row seats.

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July 2006


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