I decided that I no longer want sean-ward.com to run SweetCron (and I’m not sure I want to update to LifePress) and that I had a lot of junk on my blog; I tidied up a bit and kept the posts that appeared to be the most relevant (to Google anyway). I’m still debating what to use my webspace for, but I’m not sure if much is going to be done with this domain; I may pick up another one (if I can figure out what I want to do with it in the first place).
Archive for Uncategorized
My brother is convinced that due my time surfing, I’ve come across many bits of knowledge which I’ve managed to recall when needed. When I mentioned this to a friend, his response was simply a word that might describe the concept: omnipternet. While it may not follow the correct way the word should be formed, the definition is “omnipotence gained by the existence and use of the Internet”.
Surprisingly (or not) the word “omnipternet” cannot be found by a Google search. Really, this post is being done to alleviate that problem.
On the down side, another definition of omnipternet could be “see Skynet“. That’s a lot less comforting, but fortunately, August 4, 1997 has come and gone.
I had already started typing when I started my search for a solution to my problem, and realized that the title I want to use for this post is the exact same as the blog on which I found the answer to the question I had of “installing quicktime on vista”. The answer is straight forward enough, but I certainly want to thank the author, Keath, for his solution to this problem, which is quoted below.
The iTunes/QuickTime installer will fail with a “VBScript not installed” error on some installations of Vista. I’m not sure exactly what leads to this situation as it does not seem to affect all Vista users, but there is a relatively simple fix:
- Click Start, All Programs, Accessories then right click on Command Prompt and select “Run as Administrator”
- cd to your windows\system32 directory
- enter the following command:
This will re-register VBScript and allow the iTunes installer to run.
Now I can get back to what I originally was trying to do, which was watch the trailer for Fallout 3, which I got to from this article on Digg, which I then eventually just went to a direct link to the .mov file.
First, let me say that Settlers of Catan is a great game. Everyone should try and play it a couple of times. Imagine the fun that you expect to have when playing Monopoly, but actually having fun when you do play! That’s not something that happens with monopoly. Anyway, the link to the Wiki article does a good job of explaining the game for now, which is not the point of this post anyway.
As some of you know, I am colorblind, so when I opened the Settlers of Catan 5-6 Player Expansion box, I gazed upon the new color pieces dishearteningly, as they were brown and green (I think). Anyway, I have always kept these out of game play because I cannot tell them apart. That, and we have only played with more than four people once, and that was only with five.
That was, of course, until this weekend. Here is a set of Settlers of Catan pieces (Settlers Expansion and Seafarers Expansion) that I painted grey… Bridgeport Grey, to be exact. The brown set is no more, and now there are 6 different colors to use with my copies of Settlers. I sorted them by attempting (and failing) to sort them myself until Meghan corrected my apparently obvious mistakes.
I’m thinking that I might paint all my pieces to make my copy of Settlers of Catan a little personalized, possibly get an adobe/stucco color for the buildings and paint their roofs the color of the set and paint the hulls of the ships brown but make the sails the color of the set. Once I know I have a job come the new year, I’m going to consider how I’ll do this. I’m also going some sort of sealant, as the paint is probably going to chip and wear with constant use.
At work, we use a tool called Ultimate Boot CD for Windows (UBCD). What this does is allows us to place the CD into a computer that isn’t booting, such as with malware issues, missing .dll files, etc, but not hardware issues, and boot up a version of Windows that is loaded into the system’s memory. By doing this, we can then edit the registry, even if there is malware that would hide the registry entry via a rootkit, delete problem causing files, such as worms that have a known file name, and even back up the files to an external USB HD, so that a client’s information can be saved prior to a format of an otherwise dead system.
I had been asked by my boss, as well as searching independently prior to his asking, for a way to laod the UBCD version of Windows off of a USB drive instead. I had found some sites that gave ways to attempt it, such as Windows In Your Pocket off of Tom’s Hardware, but for whatever reason, that method proved to not work. Earlier this week I decided to give it another go, and I managed to find a program that would make a USB drive bootable and then load a BartPE (Bart Preinstalled Environment) installation onto it. BartPE is what the UBCD is built around, with the UBCD adding many more plugins and other tools to BartPE.
In order to do this, you will need the items listed below. I’m am going to mention the items needed to create the UBCD build as well.
- Follow the directions on how to build the UBCD4Win:
- A Windows XP CD, with at least Service Pack 1. I know that at BGSU, the bookstore is selling Windows XP on DVDs. I imagine that it really doesn’t affect the process, but don’t quote me on that. If your CD does not have Service Pack 1, you could the service pack and create a bootable CD.
- BartPE, UBCD4Win, and the UBCD4Win drivers, from the UBCD4Win download page.
- Download PeToUSB and extract it to a folder on your hard drive.
Now that’s left is to follow the directions for building the UBCD4Win and then the readme file for Boot BartPE from USB, and eventually, you’ll have a bootable USB ready to go. I personally used a 512MB Cruzer Titanium. The only downside was that I ended up only having 70MB free once everything was said and done. As UBCD4Win has more on it than BartPE, you could remove items you don’t need from UBCD4Win, or just use BartPE, to get more available room on the USB. Prior to placing UBCD4Win on the USB drive, I had placed BartPE on it, and it worked no problem.
Yes, not every computer out there can boot from USB, but most computers made in the last couple years can. So, if you are going to be working on older computers, you should make sure you have a actual UBCD around.
Now I have a bootable version of Windows with me on my keychain where ever I go.
You could do the official thing and buy a Linksys SM01 Wall Mount and Stacking Bracket, or you could just use two picture hangers and stick the “hanger” portion of the hangers into the two holes in the bottom of the legs you want to be “on top”. There’s then still plenty of room to put the Ethernet cables between the router and the wall.
Total cost: $0.00 (absorbed). I had already purchased the picture hangers for other things.
And now I have that much more desk space. Woot.
The Greatest Science Fiction Stories of All Time Chosen by the Members of the Science Fiction Writers of America
From the back cover: Originally published in 1970 to honor those writers and their stories that had come before the institution of the Nebula Awards, “The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One”, was the book that introduced tens of thousands of young readers to the wonder os science fiction. Too long unavailable, this new edition will be treasured by science fiction fans everywhere.
Introduction: Robert Silverberg
A Martian Obyssey by Stanley G. Weinbaum
Twilight by John W. Campbell
Helen O’Loy by Lester del Rey
The Roads Must Roll by Robert A. Heinlein
Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon
Nightfall by Issac Asimov
The Weapon Shop by A. E. van Vogt
Mimsy Were the Borogoves by Lewis Padgett
Huddling Place by Clifford D. Simak
Arena by Fredric Brown
First Contact by Murray Leinster
That Only a Mother by Judith Merril
Scanners Live in Vain by Corwainer Smith
Mars Is Heaven! by Ray Bradbury
The Little Black Bag by C. M. Kornbluth
Born of Man and Woman by Richard Matheson
Coming Attraction by Fritz Leiber
The Quest for Saint Aquin by Anthony Boucher
Surface Tension by James Blish
The Nine Billion Name of God by Arthur C. Clarke
It’s a Good Life by Jerome Bixby
The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin
Fondly Fahrenheit by Alfred Bester
The Country of the Kind by Damon Knight
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
A Rose for Ecclesiastes by Roger Zelazny I consider this book a must read for anyone interested, even slightly, in the science fiction genre.
Much like with any good anthology listing, I was recalling those stories as I was typing away the titles. Ok, it was only for the stories I liked the most, but still, these stories will randomly pop into my head and I’ll think about the characters and the plot that the author laid out. I’ll list the stories, my ranking (out of 10), and either give hints to the story and/or why I liked it.
A Martian Odyssey – 9/10
Man encounter alien life on Mars, but not necessarily all of it is native. One of the main characters, part of an exploration mission, meets up with an alien from another galaxy who is also an explorer. While communication is very limited, they devise simple ways to explain things to each other. One of the best ones is to explain intelligence. Just the simple equations of “1+1=2″ and “2+2=4″. The first shows simple intelligence and the second would show advanced intelligence. I thought that was pretty interesting.
Twilight – 7/10
A conversation between two friends about the hitch-hiker one of them had helped out. The hitch-hiker was a time traveler tryign to get home and kept overshooting his mark. I’ll admit, I’ve come across this one before, so it wasn’t as exciting, but worth the read
Helen O’Loy – 6/10
Two friends take it upon themselves to improve upon the robotics of the time, making a female robot to keep them company.
The Roads Must Roll – 7/10
What if the roads moved instead of vehicles on the roads moving, and at the same speeds as current speed limits. Those transits would have to work flawlessly, else there would be disaster. You’d have to keep the people who repair and operate the roads content.
Microcosmic God – 8/10
The aloof inventor and the investor who keeps him happy. The inventor know much about a lot, and improves the quality of products, which makes the investor rich. But then the investor tries to controll things too much.
Nightfall - 5/10
I had come across this story before, and I recalled most of it, so I didn’t read it. What happens to a civilization on a planet at the center of a galaxy surrounded by about a half dozen stars which keep it day all the time? Perhaps the religious texts speak the truth, especially with the last star setting.
The Weapon Shop – 6/10
Even the most vocal people against something can be disuaded and have things explained to them, causing them to change their position. After all, people always have the kind of government they want.
Mimsy Were the Borogoves - 10/10
Salmon are born, and they swim to the sea, only returning to their birthplace to give birth to another generation. Why is it, then, that man does not go downstream? Be careful of what you send back in time. To understand it all, you’d have to look through the looking glass.
Huddling Place – 6/10
Mankind has changed, moved out of large cities and to estates, but it affected some differently. Would you fight your fear to safe a friend? What if meant the salvation of a race?
Arena – 10/10
You are not the smartest, strongest, or fastest or your race, but you’re pitted against another member of an alien race, the outcome of which determines which race lives and which race dies. You’re both in an environment that hinders you and you don’t even know the rules of the game. Don’t mess up.
First Contact – 10/10
You’re part of the crew that meets an alien crew in space, the first encounter of your respective races. Your ships are at a standstill, as neither can leave, for fear of the other following and finding you home planet, but you need to get a message back to your planet about the others. You can’t send a probe, cause that could be followed as well. You could fight, but what if you lose? How do you make it out of the situation alive and save both races? A great follow up to Arena.
That Only a Mother – 7/10
A mother’s love can make her blind, causing her to love her child regardless of what the truth may be. Then again, nothing is wrong in the first place, is it?
Scanners Live in Vain – 8/10
You gave up the ability to live life to help mankind, filling an very important role in society. Now your sacrifice may mean nothing because of someone’s discovery. You fraternal order is facing extinction; where do you stand?
Mars is Heaven! – 5/10
Anothe rstory I have come across before. I wasn’t greatly impressed by it the first time, but then again, seeing all my loved ones again after landing on an alien planet isn’t something I would expect in the first place.
The Little Black Bag – 10/10
Another story about the effects of a random, every day item being sent into the past. It could revolutionize medicine, but it appears to be almost magical. This story also has a great comment about the types of people in society. As it appears early in the story, and I love these paragraphs so very much, I feel that I must quote it here.
After twenty generations of shilly-shallying and “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” genus homo had bred itself into an impasse. Dogged biometricians had pointed out with irrefutable logic that mental subnormals were outbreeding mental normals and supernormals, and that the process was occurring on an exponential curve. Every fact that could be mustered in the argument proved the biometricians’ case, and led inevitably to the conclusion that genus homo was going to wind up in a preposterous jam quite soon. If you think that had any effect on breeding practices, you don’t know genus homo.
There was, of course, a sort of masking effect produced by that other exponential function, the accumlation of technological devices. A moron trained to punch an adding machine seems to be a more skillful computer than a medieval mathematician trained to count on his fingers. A moron trained to operate the twenty-first century equivalent of a linotype seems to be a better typographer than a Renaissance printer limited to a few fonts of movable type. This is also true of medical practice.
It was a complicated affair of many factors. The supernormals “improved the product” at greater speed than the subnormals degraded it, but in smaller quantity because elaborate training of their childrean was practiced on a custom-made basis. The fetish of higher education had some weird avatars by the twentieth generation: “colleges” where not a member of the student body could read words of three syllables; “universities” where such degrees as “Bachelor of Typewriting,” “Master of Shorthand” and “Doctor of Philosophy (Card Filing)” were conferred with the traditional pomp. The handful of supernormals used such devices in order that the vast majority might keep some semblance of a social order going.
More on that quote to come, I’m sure.
Born of Man and Woman – 6/10
Man has made it this far in the world, yet situations as this story still happen. Think about what man is possible of, and yet some people still try and push the limits of what you can do to someone.
Coming Attraction – 5/10
What’s next in the war torn world? I must have missed something, cause this story did nothign for me.
The Quest for Saint Aquin – 7/10
Seek and you shall find, though what you find may not really be what you seek. What do you do then?
Surface Tension – 10/10
Man has sent out seed ships to new planets, with the idea of adapting to the new worlds. When one lands on the wrong world, they know they are doomed. Still, they must leave something of humanity behind before they die, but what will become of their children once they are gone?
The Nine Billion Names of God – 9/10
Using technology to help out a religious cause. But what is the result of the religious cause again?
It’s a Good Life – 7/10
I was about to say I recall seeing a Twilight Zone episode about this same type of event, and I would have been right, as there was an episode in season 3 with the same title. It is about what happens when there’s a child in the community that can make reality change based on his whim. You’d better make sure to keep the child happy, right?
The Cold Equations – 9/10
As man goes into space, computers make calculations of what can be done with the current resources so that the resources are used as little as possible. Sometimes, those equations can be very cold and ruthless.
Fondly Fahrenheit – 7/10
Why is this androids owner constantly on the run, and why can’t his android do things right.
The Country of the Kind – 8/10
You can be free and do anything you want, but everyone else will loathe you because of who you are.
Flowers for Algernon – 10/10
The rise an fall of a person is monitored as he achieves greatness and then loses it. The worst part is that he knows it is coming. At least he has his friend Algernon.
A Rose for Ecclesiastes – 8/10
Can a poet save the dying Martian race, or will their civilization be lost to the sand of time?
And that’s the end of the review. This review took quite a bit of time, almost 2 hours, mainly because I was reading over portions of the stories again. If you read this book, please offer a comment. Did you agree with my reviews of the stories. Why or why not?