Welcome to BLOGical Thoughts

February 2016


Wednesday, 10 February, 2016

I have about 100 pages left to reformat in the Camp-cook cookbook. It is now 612 pages, so it looks like my prediction of getting down below 600 pages will be valid. Of course, after I finish with this cookbook, I still have to do the EPUB version. More weeks of work.

I have mentioned the Internet Archive here in the past, starting in 2006. I thought I would now explain about this remarkable resource.

The Internet Archive is an online library of collections that exist in digital form and that are Creative Commons, have no copyright or have expired copyrights. This means that the collections are free for downloading. The collections are broken up into several categories: web, texts, video, audio, software and images. The Internet Archive works to prevent materials from disappearing forever.

I have downloaded literally gigabytes of files from the Internet Archives. Here are some of the things I have gotten:


The books from Project Gutenberg are all available in the Internet Archive, so if you are partial to Edgar Rice Burroughs or H.G. Wells (as well as thousands of other authors), this is a good place to pick up some of their books. Modern authors such as Cory Doctorow (Little Brother) also have many items in this section.


There are feature films as well as old TV shows in this section. I have downloaded at least the following:


There are thousands of audio tracks on the Internet Archives. My favorites are the old time radio shows. I have collected shows such as 21st Precinct, 2000 Plus, Authors Playhouse, The Aldrich Family, The Avenger, Barry Craig, Blue Beetle, Crime Club, Death Valley Days, Ellery Queen, FBI In Peace and War, Gangbusters, The Green Hornet, Gunsmoke, I Love Adventure, Manhunt, Nick Carter, Nightbeat, Planet Man, Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow, The Unexpected, Voyage of The Scarlet Queen, War of The Worlds, World Adventure Club and X Minus 1.


I must admit I never frequent this section, as I do not use MS-DOS or Windows on my computer and that is what dominates this section. It contains files from software collections, as well as games for various arcade boxes.


This is another section I do not use. It contains images from USGS, NASA, Ames research Center and Flickr Commons, as well as other images.


The web section is where the Wayback Machine resides. It archives web sites and allows you to see what they used to look like. Very useful.

Silly sign of the day:

Free/Open Source Software

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

Friday, 5 February, 2016

I am at about the halfway point of the Camp-cook cookbook re-editing. It's looking good for size - the 3rd edition source file is currently 4.8MB, while the 2nd edition (with 100 less recipes) is 11.2MB. Length is currently 634 pages, down from 674 pages. This editing seems to be well worth the effort.

I had my other cataract removed on Wednesday. No problems so far after the operation. It will be nice to have consistent vision in both eyes, and no yellow-brownish cast to everything.

I have found I can see the computer screens better if I completely remove my glasses. Since I haven't been able to do that since I was 17; how cool is that?

Silly sign of the day:

Free/Open Source Software

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

Monday, 1 February, 2016

I am about 1/6 of the way through the re-editing of the 3rd edition of the Camp-cook cookbook. If things continue the way they are going, the new version will be 17% smaller than it was in December. That means it will be well under 600 pages, with the same content as when it was 674 pages. It is hard work, though. And I have to make the same changes to the EPUB version.

When I was visiting my relatives in December, I performed my yearly installation and update tasks with their computers. The only computer I could not update was my sister's laptop, which would no longer work because the battery was not being charged.

My sister got a new laptop for Christmas to replace the broken one, so I took the broken one along with me when I came home. Once here, I removed her hard drive and copied her home directory onto a memory stick and mailed that to her. The laptop has been sitting here for a month now, so I decided to see if I could get it working again.

By observing how it behaved, I traced the problem down to the power plug. Last Thursday, I took the laptop over to F1 For Help so I could use his benchtop and tools. I removed about 2 dozen screws, the hard drive, the DVD drive and the keyboard and finally got where I could look at the power plug. Sure enough, the plug had a broken wire. I soldered that back on, re-assembled the laptop and I now have a working machine. The battery now charges just fine.

Since my sister now has a new laptop, I think I will hold onto this one. It's much smaller than my 17" laptop, so it's easier to lug around.

I installed Linux Mint 17.3 on it, along with other applications I normally use, such as Galculator, Lazarus, Virtualbox, KeePassX, FileZilla, Sigil and some games. I will take it with me when I go anywhere that I need some computing power. Not having to lug around 24 pounds of computer will be a nice change.

Silly sign of the day:

Free/Open Source Software

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"