Found In the Woods

June 29, 2006

G4 gets a new brain. Highlights at eleven.

Filed under: Blogging,Projects,Tech — bsullivan @ 11:21 pm

So I got my new hard drive and memory in the mail yesterday from OWC. I decided to tackle the hard drive in my TiBook first so I got the instructions online and set to work. The install was really easy, actually. I was already familiar with the innards after doing the DVD-R drive (which I found a little harder, actually). So anyway, I plugged it in, screwed up the case flipped it over, with a big, excited, presents-on-christmas-morning grin, and booted to the OS X Tiger DVD.

When I got to the screen to choose which drive to install on, none appeared. (There goes that big grin). But, at the moment (about 10 mins ago) I figured I hadn't connected something right. So, I flipped it back over, unscrewed the cover, rechecked all the connections, reconnected it and tried again. Same thing. (Now a puzzled look) So I did this one more time. Same thing. (Beginning to get angry)

Each time I did this I bent over and pressed my ear to the keyboard to listen for hard drive activity and I couldn't hear any! So, naturally, I figured that the thing wasn't getting power and indeed the logic board connection wasn't properly hooked up. (* See, you also have to understand that part of the reason I'm replacing this hard drive is due to the fact that the OEM 20gb drive that came with the TiBook sounded like a refrigerator. The ball bearings must have been ready to wear through the case and into my lap. My wife yells at me every time I try to use the computer when she's in the room. Yes, it's that loud.)

It was at this point that I started cursing at myself and lamenting my aching back, the sweat pouring down my forehead and the back of my knees, the fatigue and my aching back. The last time I tried reconnecting and turning it on, I heard a faint *beep* quiet as a mouse but I KNEW it wasn't the DVD-R drive. This gave me hope… it also awoke the notion in my thick brain (which 2 minutes earlier I had contemplated perforating with a small phillips head screwdriver) that I had to FORMAT the drive before OS X would even look at it. Big duh.

G4 gets a new brainLessons learned? Don't try to install a new hard drive in your PowerBook at 11:30pm unless you have to. See, this should have been easy. All this week I've been spending my free time resurrecting an 8 year old PowerMac G3 blue & white. Even with the scoffing from my coworkers and the cries of "noooooooo, not that!" from my experienced Mac guru friends, I still press on in the hopes and dreams that I can make it into a useful server/kids machine. This will happen and when it does… I will be victorious!

Next up, install some more memory in the PowerBook G4 and in my iMac G5.

June 19, 2006

A few shows to catch

Filed under: Blogging — bsullivan @ 1:26 pm

Well the summertime is here and besides catching up on reruns I've found a few gems that I've really enjoyed.

Rescue Me
F/X Tue 10:00pm

Denis Leary in Rescue Me

The show focuses on the lives of seven or eight FDNY firefighters who all live pretty intense lives. Apart from the fire fighting and gritty humor, the show delves into some pretty intense character conflicts; Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary), the lead character, loses his son at the end of the last season. Sexual infidelity, drugs, alcohol and a heaping serving of brawls are all the order of the day. I'm not one to really revel in the obvious coarseness of most Television shows of this genre. There is something about Rescue Me that keeps drawing me back in.

Sure, the indecent humor and sexual situations are all engaging, but there's so much more here. The characters don't sell out. They maintain the toughness/stuidity/innocence/angst/weakness that the writers imbibed upon them at the getgo and strive to make something out of their lives in the day to day. I think that most of them have resolved to their life status and take great pride in it. Also, the editing is wonderful. Comic timing is brilliant and not overdone or too obvious. There's lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing. Check out the show and be prepared for lots of cursing, sexual situations (some explicit) and some good 'ol NYC-style brawls.

The Real Dirt on Farmer John
PBS: Independent Lens various times, check website

 The Real Dirt On Farmer John

I caught this by accident on Saturday night. It's an engaging, delightful story about a farmer who faces the farming crisis of the 1980s in America and meets it head on. After the storm passes, he loses nearly everything. Picking up the peices, he rebuilds in a new way – this time, farming organically. His success is a fascinating story of hard work and a willing intellect. He adopts philosophies and ideas to his own life and ends up with a profitable entity fully backed by a community of stakeholders , students, friends and and admirers. The stripped-down, earthy feel of this documentary is what got me interested. This man is so passionately and strongly attached to his land, he will try anything to keep it. A great story, well told.

Alone in the Wilderness

 Alone In The Wilderness

This is a sort of documentary / art film. It's a fascinating look into the life of a man, Dick Proenneke, who in the early 1970s left the hum-drum of the working world behind, took a few tools and a canoe and headed out in to the Alaskan wilderness to build a home; literally. The film is mostly self shot and shows Dick working day by day on his cabin, which he builds nearly entirely from local materials. About the only thing not local are the nails and the tarpaper roof sheets! He even buids several tools from scratch. A remarkable tale, told through the words of Proenneke, which can also be read in his journal. This guy is a real craftsman. One of a long lost breed. The way he manipulates the materials he has from raw logs into usable pieces of lumber, furniture and tools is simply amazing. I found myself agape at his skill and patience. This one will be hard to find on regular TV; buy the DVD or borrow it from the library.

June 5, 2006

4 more years!

Filed under: Blogging,Railroading — bsullivan @ 12:25 pm

Kristin and I celebrated our fourth anniversary this past weekend. We traveled out to Grantsville, MD and stayed at the Stone Bow Inn. It was wonderful. The inn is situated on the banks of the Cassleman River about a hundred yards away from the “old stone bow”; a bridge constructed in 1813 for the national road, AKA route 40. The inn also shares land with an incredibly active artist community where you can peruse the trades and wares among the scattered old log & mortar buildings which were moved from nearby areas to the commune. To name a few, there is a potter, weaver, metalworker, soapmaker, glassmaker, painter and several historic interpretive sites as well.

On Saturday we visited the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. What a treat. They operate an ex LS&I 1916 Baldwin 2-8-0 from the old WM Cumberland station up to Frostburg, MD. The trip is really nice. We sat in first class which included a nice meal and service throughout the trip. We met some nice folks and really enjoyed ourself. I’ve posted pics of our journey in the Gallery here and here. I’ve also posted a short video of Mountain Thunder ascending the grade toward Frostburg: