News for July, 2003


Radiation tri-blade symbol 31July2003 - We're back. I posted some photos from the trip to Yosemite. [Yosemite weather.] Pics of Cathedral Lakes [elevation: 9600-feet] are posted here. Sights encountered along the trail are posted here. I'll try to post some more photos over the weekend. All the plastic water bottles are crushed after returning to sea level from the high elevation.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 18July2003 - Checking in before heading back out (on vacation). I'll get to the mail when we return. I probably should configure an auto-responder that says I'm on vacation .. if I could figure out how to make that feature work. The in-box looks pretty ugly, but I'll get to them all, eventually.

Been having philosophical discussions about the ethics of "telling the truth". Personally, I don't believe many (any?) people speak "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" ALL THE TIME. At one end of the Bell curve distribution for honesty, we have the likes of Jesus, Gandhi, Buddha, and the Dalai Lama. At the other end, we have the likes of Ted Bundy, Stalin, the IRS and lawyers. The rest of us are lumped somewhere between these two extremes.

Without getting into semantics, I think people bend the truth to suit their needs. Some bend it more than others. [Can I get an amen, somebody?] Quite frankly, I'm suspicious of anyone who claims to tell the truth all the time. That's almost as bad as the world's biggest lie: The check is in the mail.

To support my point, I quoted numerous sources, such as the Hindu epic poem, The Mahabharata, which says: "A falsehood uttered for the sake of a righteous end ceases to be a falsehood." Hey, I'm no Hindu, but the the world's longest poem makes my point.

Allow me to offer the Rad translation: "If your girl asks how you like her new haircut, say you love it, even if you don't." That's probably all I can say without getting into more trouble. At least I'm honest enough to admit I bend the truth.

Concerning the site, I changed the size of the font on the PDF's for the following four guides: ASPI layer drivers [7-pages], FDISK partitioning [10-pages], Norton Ghost [25-pages] and Ripping & Encoding CD Audio [18-pages]. Most of the site's popular guides are featured in both downloadable PDF versions [zipped for faster downloads] and printer-friendly PDF's [with gray backgrounds removed to conserve your toner/ink].

The PDF's also keep the site from getting too busy, by allowing readers to use the downloadable & printable versions without having to revisit the site and generate unnecessary traffic. The files have become surprisingly popular, especially the Ghost & FDISK PDF's.

For some reason, Adobe Acrobat, which I use to generate the PDFs, makes normal HTML fonts appear much larger. So I changed the size of the standard text 10-point font to 7-point, and the heading font from 18-point to 13-point. Friends from the land down-under helped with that. For example, the PDF for the Ghost guide, which used to be 40-pages, is now only 25.

Bad Boys IISaw Badboys II today. Recommended. If you like action. There is one bullet-shot that's worth the whole movie .. slow motion .. thru two glass water jugs. Can't miss it. Best bullet shot I've ever seen .. in any movie. Surprisingly funny flick. Made me laugh hard. Good soundtrack, too. Was bumping in my seat. Lots of action. Had to lie down when I got home. Woosah. Need to learn the lyrics.

One more thing: Alex, who writes Motherboard Monitor, is working one a slick new installer. If you're technically competent, and would like to provide feedback [I have], drop him a line. The file he has doesn't actually install MBM. It simply walks you thru the process. The installer presents several options, which need to be clear to a variety of users. Tell him Rad says 'Hey'. Alex is a great guy, who lives in the Netherlands.

Should be back before August arrives. You might find me in hiking in Big Sur, or backpacking in Yosemite, swimming at Glen Aulin, or sitting atop Half Dome. Adios, amigos.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 08July2003 - Testing. Check: one-two. Testing. Just stopping in long enough to say 'Hey' and wash my dirty laundry .. before heading out again for a few more days. Hope you had yourself a nice Fourth [US residents].

Researched absinthe today, including its sordid history. Before this, I knew nothing of the drink. First heard it mentioned while watching the film Moulin Rouge. I know it's not technically-related, but man does not live by Mega-Hertz alone.

In keeping with this [sordid] theme, I also made a pot of puttanesca, which supposedly derives its name [translation: pasta of the whore] from the fact that it's so quick and easy to make that Italian prostitutes used to whip it up between clients. Whatever its true origins [I have my own, unprintable, ideas], it's a snap to make and tastes great. I prefer mine over linguine with grated parmesean & freshly chopped basil from the garden.

Now that I'm fed and have clean underwear .. it's back to the mountains. But before I go, here's a funny link, from Ice Czar [Boulder, Colorado]. Look closely.

In site-related news, I broke up the ASPI guide into two pages. It grew too big for a single-page guide. I try to keep all pages less than 40-KB, including graphics. According to Dr. Jakob, most of the world still connects to the Net via a dial-up connection and hates to wait more than 10-secs for a page to load. For example, this page you're reading now is ~40-KB: 25-KB of HTML + 15-KB of gfx. Notice how his site contains hardly any gfx.

Also, Google moved up its ranking of this guide for the simple-but-popular search term: 'ASPI'. Traffic to it, and also Doc's FDISK guide, have soared recently .. much of it coming from DMOZ's list of hand-picked links. Radified is now a million-hit-per-month site [...and growing].

Radiation tri-blade symbol 01July2003 - July is here already. Where *does* the time go? For the next week, it's going on vacation. We'll be away for a while, trying to enjoy some of this summer. While we're gone, I'll leave the site's front door open, so you can come in and peruse at your leisure. Make yourself at home here. There's cold beer in the fridge and tasty viddles on the stove.