Fenestrae Stercus Est

Opened the weekly Register summary [Link] and was deluged with no less that four different articles on four different ways that WX satsfies Sturgeon’s Rule.

Affirmed my own experience yesterday.

Sometime ago I purchased a refurbed Lenovo Yogi that came with WX. Yesterday I had a bit of slack time so I decided to see if I could get the box to dual-boot. The first step was to activate WX so I could cozen it into letting me into the system settings and get some Linux installed.

Things were going along fairly smoothly when the OS demanded I generate a MegaHard account. It demanded an email address so I entered mine.

It was rejected. Evidently MegaHard thinks academic addresses are bogus or something. 

So I turned the beast off. Got out a screwdriver and opened the box up. Popped out the hard drive and replaced it with a blank SSD. The HD was salted away in case I ever had the delusion again that MegaHard was worth any concern or attention span.

Void of the Redmond Cancer, I told the settings to silence secure boot and installed Linux – Netrunner in this instance, which is about as far from Winders as one can get being entirely NON-Proprietary! And there is great delight in the realm.

Perhaps that should be a message for MegaHard and the fascists inside the beltway?

I later read that Gooey has decreed that any telephony corporation parasite on their coding must provide at least two years of updates for the OS. 

Doesn’t make it a decent OS but at least it’s a good move, which is surprising given the tenor of Gooey’s interactions with humanity. 

There may yet be hope for the species and the planet.

Vocabulary

The term for a seller who prates about value is “liar.”

Value can only be assigned by the owner and its only relevance in trading is decision-making.

Tome Tomb?

Having sat shiva for Sears, I am beginning to wonder if I need to do the same for books?

When I was a bairn, books were easy to find. My parents bought me all sorts of Golden books and several sets of encyclopedias. And I plowed my way through them, often to the annoyance of my parents at seeing these expensive books read so rapidly and engendering such uncomfortable questions.

When I finished those, I moved on to my parents’ books, which engendered more annoyance. School was no tonic as my school books rarely lasted past the first week of school. Which led to annoyance with the teachers.

So then I started visiting the public library three times a week. And at the age of eleven or so kicked upstairs to the adult section, having depleted the children’s section amidst complaints on the lack of new books.

The elevation caused great annoyance among the librarians since they were concerned I would discover the city’s collection of smut.

High schule was a mixed blessing. I could not drive myself but the teachers were annoyed over the questions not covered by the texts.

College was a mitzvah. The Amelia Gayle Gorgas library was wonderful and I discovered science fiction. Good books were everywhere, well composed with good story lines.

Sadly that seems to be gone. Science fiction has become formulaic and composed at the fifth grade level with numerous third grade fallacies. And the technical books are worse. It used to be that technical books were as well composed as novels with exceptional examples such as Halliday and Resnick’s physics books and Ruel Churchill’s books on maths. Nowadays the technical books are as poorly composed as the novels. And with about as much information conveyed.

Has STEM become a sewer?

Sears Shiva

“Let us sit about and tell sad tales of the deaths of kings.” Billy Rattlelance. I forget which play. But the meaning seems clear. And quite appropriate to Sears.

I have had a Freudian association with Sears for years. When I was a bairn, Sears, along with Belk, Hudson, was a place my family went to equip ourselves. For many years my father bought his tools exclusively at Sears. That was back when they had very good quality tools and they had a lifetime guarantee. Which cost them a lot of money the way my father abused his tools – he was one of those “git er dun’ types – and was always taking them back for replacement. 

I recall in my adolescence that Sears was one of two store in Huntsville that sold slide rules. Of course, they were Pickett slide rules, made of aluminium. That was the beginning of the hate side of the Freudian association.

When I went off to college, I continued to shop at Sears. The only difference was that it was the one in the city of the Black Warrior. I recall that even in the ’60’s that the parking was abysmal. And the clerks treated the college students worse than the African-Americans. Which is saying something given the Alibam racism in those days. 

And yes, Virginia, the racism has abated a bit since then, except for people who used to be Chief Justicar of Alibam. 

The love side reached its peak when I moved Nawth to the campus of the Boneyard. My very existence depended on the Urbana Sears. That was where I could go to get winter gear that was necessary whenever I left a schule building. I quickly discovered that what was sold in a Sears store was geographic. And the Yankee stores had better stuff than the Southron stores.

When I left the campus of the Boneyard for the campus of the Tennessee, I managed to find a way to continue getting Yankee Sears catalogs for several years. This was important since when I got to the campus of the Tennessee, the Huntsville store had gone way down hill. While I was off in the MidWest, the Sears body had begun to rot.

In the following years, the rot intensified. First they closed the old Sears on the edge of downtown and moved it out to the wasteland between Huntsville and Athens. And the tools became stercus. And people quit shopping there. Not at once, but over thirty years.

Now I live in Greater Metropolitan Arab. The Sears store is locally owned. I am sorry for the owners and their employees. But we haven’t bought much there. It’s too small and what they sell is too orthogonal to our lives. 

When I was in grad schule, one of my few diversions was reading ANALOG science fiction magazine. It had a fact article or two each month and I recall one that helped me greater with being a manager. This article talked about the life cycle of organizations. It seems that most organizations go through three phases. The first phase is initiation, which is done by people who have technical competence in whatever the organization does. The second phase is growth, which is done by people who are “professional” managers. The third phase is demise, which is done by people who are accountants. 

A parallel with human dementia is appropriate. 

In effect, Sears rotted to death. It lost sight of what it needed to do and be and just worried about money. And so it died. From lack of money.

There’s a moral there and I am sure that Shakespeare said something about that. But all I know is that you can’t buy slide rules any more.

Swooshud

Have you ever dropped a door? Not one of those real doors that one finds in institutional buildings or the exterior doors of houses; one of those interior doors that are a rectangular frame of 2x2s and a millimeter or so of veneer. They are so light that the air drag is enough to flip them and they semi-float to the ground with a sickening noise that is a combination of “swoosh” and “thud.”

I mention this because autumn (fall?) may have descended on Alibam. 

The whole month of September was an extension of August. This was studiously ignored by all of the politicals since it is one more indication that the melted snowflakes of the international science community are accurate and the planet is preparing to rid itself of human civilization and almost all humans as well. 

Back to hunting and gathering.

No Bronson Alpha and Beta this time folks. Just destructive weather and no food. At least until we go far below the natural carrying capacity of the abused planet. 

Another reason I am glad to be ORF. I figure a fungus will get me before I can starve. There’s something vaguely satisfying with the idea of being covered in greyish fuzz like a loaf of high end in-store bakery bread with NO preservatives. 

We have had a few days of morning temperatures in the sixties and below. And the afternoon temperatures have been in the seventies. Fahrenheit, that is. But not today. Back to the eighties. Not that I’m complaining after too many high nineties and FD SCP nattering about the bills from the Greater Metropolitan Arab Electron Monopoly. 

On which note, I should mention that when I returned home from gym yesterday she had made the transition from summer jersey to winter sweats as her at-home attire. I similarly made the shift from short-sleeve to long-sleeve. But then the blood thinners assure that I have the heat capacity of the vacuum. 

I am not complaining about the onset of lesser temperatures. Except for the extra weight of clothes. And the prickliness of bathroom heaters. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” But on the other hand we shall get better petrol mileage in the motorcars. No need for air conditioning.

On a related azimuth, FD SCP also picked this past week to finally decide to sack her old computer – an HP lemon from the W7 days that has more bad tracks on its HD than the Greater Metropolitan Arab Electron Monopoly has outages in a year. Seems that in addition to shedding her sewing data, the beast’s DVD drive has gone whackadoodle and is locked in constant seek mode that come with a rather Halloween appropriate shriek. 

So I went to the cache of FD SCP future computers – I buy a new one every year or so in anticipation of the explosive demise of her current one – and spent most of Thursday getting it half ready to swap out. This new box is a refurbed Lenovo that had been advertised as a W7 box – FD SCP has a hatred for WX that is Medea level – but had been upgraded to WX during the refurb.

It’s a much better box. The case doesn’t vibrate with the air from the HVAC vent like the HP does, and the UEFI is much better implemented. More righteous evidence that Carly was a daughter of one of the Greek fates – the sadistic one. 

Sadly, it does have WX as its OS. FD SCP has to use W because of the tyranny of her sewing machines and their software. I have had this box for a few months so I knew once It got it past its birth canal nastiness it would take a while to update. And I was right. Six hours. I had forgotten how slow Winders is. Definitely made me very happy. I sat about and spent most of the day tinkering with my Linux boxes. 

Linux is almost enough to make we want to be young. Almost. But it is definitely more happiness than a lot of my life.