News for October 2005


Radiation tri-blade symbol 29.oct.2005 - Looks like this will be the month RADIFIED breaks the 3-million-hits-per-month mark. Currently sitting around 2.9 million hits (as of midnite), with 3 days left. If my calcs are correct, and current trends continue, that should put us over the 3-million mark sometime tomorrow.

Site usage numbers continue to grow. Three million hits per month has a nice ring to it .. don'cha thinK?

Radiation tri-blade symbol 28.oct.2005 - Had a problem with my optical drives, both CD and DVD drives, suddenly disappearing from "My Computer" (in WXP SP2). The device manager shows yellow exclamation points beside each drive, noting error code 39: Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing.

Nothing I did would get the drives back. So I googled the problem and discovered many who were experiencing the same problem. They reported a solution by editing the registry, to remove UPPER & LOWER FILTERS. See here.

The remainder of today's troubleshooting entry is blogged here:> CD/DVD drives disappear: Device Manager Error Code 39

Radiation tri-blade symbol 27.oct.2005 - My dang gfx card died today. I have (had) the Radeon 9600 (AGP). Got the message:

VPU Recover has reset your graphic accelerator as it was no longer responding to graphic driver commands. VPU Recover was unable to recover from a hardware deadlock and has switched to software rendering. To restore hardware rendering you must restart your computer.

Upon subsequent reboot, I got dreaded blue-screen-of-death. Forget the exact words, but in essence it said my gfx card was likely dead, and referred to a file used by the gfx card (ati...).

The remainder of today's hardware-accelerated entry is blogged here:> AGP Graphics Card Died

Radiation tri-blade symbol 26.oct.2005 - Still working on completing the Black Beast 2006. Progress slow-but-steady for this labor of love. The reason for the delay is cuz these beautiful components have me drooling all over my keyboard. It shorted it out several times already. Had to lay a sheet of plastic over it. Picasso probably experienced similar problems while painting beautiful women. =)

Added a section describing the reasons for selecting the components I did (the method behind my madness). This quickly became too large to include on the same page, so I moved it to another: Component Selection Considerations.

I normally try to keep my web pages <25KB .. for fast-loading .. as suggested by Dr. Jakob. But this is not always easy .. especially for folks (like me) who get excited about bleeding-edge technology. I am panting.

Even after moving the selection considerations to its own page, the Beast still weighs in at a hefty 35-KB .. cuz it contains so many links, which raise the KB-count higher than it might otherwise seem.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 25.oct.2005 - Regarding the Beast 2006, I been getting mail saying things like, "I'm getting the fever! Might have to buy myself an early Christmas present." I know the feeling.

In other news, I had to RMA that hard drive I bought last month (on the 6th). It kept locking up, with no distinguishable pattern.

Every once in a while I would click on the drive to access data stored there and the computer would freeze .. leaving me no option except a hard reset (push the button). That suks.

I dealt directly with Seagate, not Newegg, who I bought the drive from. I like that Newegg includes all necessary info (product #, serial #) in the invoice-email they send .. so I didn't have to yank the drive.

My RMA experience with Seagate was surprisingly good .. considering I hate having to RMA anything. Such of waste of time.

The remainder of today's entry is blogged here:> RMA Seagate Hard Disk Drive

Radiation tri-blade symbol 24.oct.2005 - Regarding previous post (22nd) .. about designing a new system .. that page is posted here:> Black Beast 2006. Hopefully, it won't take me until 2006 to finish it.

It's not done yet, altho it might appear that way, cuz I used the the previous system (from 2 years ago) as a template.

Only the first 11 components listed have been updated. So everything listed after "GRAPHICS_1" is still obsolete. But the most important components are configured, so you'll get an idea of where I'm going. I'll let ya know when it's done.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 22.oct.2005 - Readers have long been requesting an updated version of the Black Beast. It's the site's #1 request. And I've been meaning to do that for some time, bit I kept getting distracted.

After much research (my eyes are burning), I have a new system pretty-much spec'ed out. Just need to do the dirty work of creating a new page where I can link to all the beautiful new components. Coming soon.

The 2006 version of "the Beast" will be based around the Intel 945P chipset, found on the Asus P5LD2 motherboard, with a dual-core Pentium D.

Remainder of today's techno-lusting entry blogged here:> Designing New Black Beast - 2006 Version

Radiation tri-blade symbol 18.oct.2005 - Updated the Ghost guide .. minor update .. included links to additional alternatives to Norton Ghost, one of them being free for home users (DriveImage XML).

Everybody likes freeware, but I feel the ability to restore your system (should anything tragic befall your hard drive) comes with such grave consequences that co$t should not become much of a factor in deciding which imaging application to use.

Nevertheless, everyone agrees that *any* imaging solution - no matter how rudimentary - is still far better than no imaging solution.

The remainder of today's back-up entry is blogged here:> Updated the Guide to Norton Ghost

Radiation tri-blade symbol 17.oct.2005 - Saw the classic surf flick Five Summer Stories (1972) this weekend. The venue is what made viewing this flick so special. It was screened *outdoors* .. at Heisler Park (here in Laguna) .. while waves could be heard crashing on the beach below.

This picture shows the place where the screen was positioned .. on the walkway, between the grass and railing in the distance. It measured ~10-feet square (3-meters tall): plenty big for all to see.

The watery horizon in the far distance seemed to magically divide the lower half of the screen from the upper. Behind the lower half: the ocean. Behind the upper half: sky .. which continued to darken until the show began (7PM).

The remainder of today's cinematic entry is blogged here:> Films & Movies Screened Outdoors at Heisler Park in Laguna Beach

Radiation tri-blade symbol 12.oct.2005 - E=mc² .. this famous equation was the subject of last night's PBS special, titled Einstein's Big Idea. I enjoy pondering concepts that torque the brain. You've probably heard the classic question: if you drive your car at the speed-of-light and turn on the headlights, will they work?

Albert's surprisingly simple equation states that Energy (E) and mass (m, sometimes called "matter") are actually different manifestations of the same thing.

The letter c represents the speed-of-light (some 670 million miles-per-hour). Because it's found on the m side of the equation, it indicates that a little bit of matter can be converted into a *lot* of energy. Your 99-cent ballpoint pen contains the atomic NRG of a nuclear explosion.

The remainder of today's thermonuclear entry is blogged here: E=mc² - Einstein's Big Idea

Radiation tri-blade symbol 09.oct.2005 - Updated the Guide to ASPI layer drivers. Repaired a bunch of dead links. Amazing how quickly link-rot can set in. And since I tend to use copious linkage, the guides need updating twice annually.

Popular guide. Try searching Google for the term ASPI and you'll see what I mean. Only the Ghost guide is more popular.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 08.oct.2005 - Boxing tonight, on HBO: Roy Jones Jr vs Antonio Tarver. They actually fought last week (on Pay-Per-View), but it should still be a good fight to watch. Their 3rd meeting, with each man winning one of the previous two matches.

For a long time, Roy Jones Jr. was considered the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet, with blazing speed. Yet his matches were typically boring to watch, cuz nobody ever posed much of a threat. Most fights, he hardly broke a sweat.

This might be the last time to see one of boxing legends in action. Here on the Left coast, things get underway at 9:45. Wish I had one of those wide-screen hi-def puppies to watch it on, with surround-sound.

The other evening, I watched Seabiscuit on a friend's 60-inch Sony hi-def, wide-screen LCD .. with 5-speaker surround-sound. It was like watching a completely different movie. When those horses came snortin' around the track, you could feel the ground rumble. I really enjoy that movie.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 07.oct.2005 - Began work on a guide to .. writing Radified guides. The guides here represent the site's most popular features. I'd like to think most of the site's 10,000 visitors come each day to see what interesting things I have to say .. but alas, statistics reveal the majority of visitors come for the guides.

The Ghost guide has historically been the site's biggest draw. Followed by the ASPI guide, the FDISK guide, the Guide to Ripping & Encoding CD Audio and the Partitioning Strategies. Oh yeah, and the Guide to Installing Windows XP.

The remainder of today's entry is blogged here:> Radified guide to Writing Radified guides

Radiation tri-blade symbol 06.oct.2005 - Friendly reminder for those of you living here in Laguna Beach (LaBeana Gooch) .. today is the First Thursday Art Walk. Maybe I'll see ya out on the town .. sucking up some culture, along with the complimentary chardonnay & hors d'oeuvres.

I prefer watercolor paintings best, tho not sure why. I've always admired people who can paint. Since my own artistic skills are limited to drawing stick-people (and not very good ones, at that).

Radiation tri-blade symbol 05.oct.2005 - Been enjoying this new book: Into the Wild (refer to yesterday's entry). Feels like I'm sucking the juice out of every word. Fascinating reading. Read the first chapter twice .. so the book would last longer.

Learned the kid mentioned was no dummy. He'd grown up in an affluent suburb of Washington DC, where he'd excelled academically & been considered an elite athlete. Later he graduated from Emory (Atlanta) with honors .. before heading out "into the wild".

He was captivated by the writings of Tolstoy, particularly admiring how the Russian had forsaken a life of wealth and privilege to wander among the destitute. War and Peace was his favorite book.

Krakauer says (from the Introduction):

I spent more than a year retracing the convoluted path that led to his death in the Alaska taiga, chasing down details of his peregrinations with an interest that bordered on obsession. -and-

In the months following publication, it generated more mail than any other article in the magazine's history.

Not sure what is causing such allure, but the story got its hooks in me. I'm looking at the book, seeing how thin it is (only 200 pages), and thinking it's not nearly long enough.

There is something liberating about facing your fears head on. Emerson said: Do the thing you fear, and death of fear is certain.

Maybe that's why I'm drawn to the story. I've always enjoyed challenging myself. But there seems more to it than that. Something primal. Maybe the next chapter will offer a clue.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 04.oct.2005 - Got a new tent and sleeping bag yesterday, along with some other hiking & camping gear .. such as water filter, a canister-stove, some cookware and a headlamp.

Tried to get equipment I could also take backpacking (which tends to be lighter). Kinda excited about heading up to Yosemite before it gets too cold. I've been jones'in' for a healthy dose of nature. I never feel better than after spending a couple of weeks roughing it in the mountains.

On a similar note, I also picked up the book Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer. The cover reads:

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley.

His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter...

Radiation tri-blade symbol 01.oct.2005 - Adiós September, Hola October: one of the year's finest months .. with warm days, cool nights. My kinda month.

Saw A History of Violence last night, up the road at the Big Newport, on the giant screen there. Opening night. Theater not very full. Stars Viggo. Little Nik said, "Vee-go. Now *that's* a cool name!"

Despite strong reviews, I was disappointed. Maybe because of them. I mean, Rotten Tomatoes selected it as its Certified Fresh pick-of-the-week. Maybe my expectations were too high. This is the first Certified Fresh flick I found disappointing.

Violence starts painfully slow (almost boring). Story-telling, especially in the first half, is labored and unnatural. The dialogue comes off as mechanical.

A review I read said: A History of Violence is character-driven, not story-driven. What that means is, it has great characters (Ed Harris plays a very colorful mobster from Philly) but the story-telling suks.

You might know somebody who's a good storyteller, somebody who can make even a mediocre story sound enchanting. Whereas a bad storyteller can ruin even the best story. I feel that's what happened here. At least in the first half. (Second half is better.)

I felt drawn to this flick cuz of the recent accusations of violence filed against me. Indeed, Maria Bello, who plays Viggo's attorney-wife, gets a Restraining Order against bad-guy Ed Harris and his henchmen. To which Viggo responds (rolling his eyes), "A lot of good *that'll* do."

The remainder of today's entry is blogged here: A History of Violence: A Rad Film / Movie review