26 November 2007 - 14:42Goodbye, Si gone

Last tuesday night the guy came by with a bank check for the balance of the $8000 sale price of my Civic. The next day he was planning to register it and get plates, then take it away. While I was in the city getting my visa for India (at the not-at-all-ironically-named Indian visa outsourcing agency), he called and said there was a problem. The DMVneeded my signature on their official bill of sale rather than just the note I had written. I was sort of willing to come back to Westchester rather than hang around the city all day waiting for my visa to be ready, but he said he would drive to another DMV and see if they were more reasonable. Later I got a message saying that “he got it taken care of, don’t ask how.” Probably he just forged my signature. Though I may have suggested that myself, I intend to take him at his word and not ask.

It’s strange to come home and not see the car in my driveway. I hope his son enjoys it as much as I did.

No Comments | Tags: Uncategorized

12 November 2007 - 0:50Just like learning to swim

The confirmation of Michael Mukasey as attorney general gave me an idea. I propose that waterboarding be used as a regular part of the senate confirmation process. Mukasey hardly answered any questions and waterboarding should remedy this situation in the future. Surely if it’s important to get information out of people who may be plotting to take over or destroy our country, it is just as important to get it out of those who already have are plotting to run it.

1 Comment | Tags: idea, politics

8 November 2007 - 15:27My old Civic Si is for sale

Civic SiI just listed my first ever item on Craigslist, my old Honda Civic Si. Check it out.

Update 4:43PM November 16: Tuesday evening a guy and his son came to look at the car. The kid took it for a drive while I shot the breeze with John and his business partner for a while. Yesterday they gave me a $500 check as a deposit on an $8000 offer. I should have tried Craigslist a full year ago.

No Comments | Tags: Uncategorized

5 November 2007 - 12:47A little experiment

So after three weeks this blog still isn’t showing up when you google for “John A. Smolin blog.” If you search for that in quotes you get nothing. Without the quotes the top three links are http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/category/2007/02/this_weeks_finds_in_mathematic_7.html, http://www.stevens.edu/csw/cgi-bin/blogs/scientific_curmudgeon/ and http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=68, which are all blogs about Lee Smolin’s book, and which happen to mention someone named “John.”

So let’s see if adding links to those makes this site even harder to find or if it might accidentally show up despite Google’s best efforts to find those other blogs.

Update 10:47AM November 6: Now searching for the quoted string finds me. Does anybody know how to get WordPress to automatically date updates without making a whole new post?

No Comments | Tags: blogging, meta

3 November 2007 - 18:02It was Earth all along

The BE-2350 CPU turned out to be fine. I bought a new CPU which the MSI tech support guy said ought to work even with the oldest BIOS (AMD Ahlon 64 3200+ Orleans 2000 MHZ $46) and still nothing worked. Finally, I was going to try booting off the old IDE hard drive I had in an old computer (which I think is 9GB and has Windows 95 on it) and just listen to see if the drive spins or quits. I had the bright idea to test that machine first, which would also serve to retest the monitor. Sure enough, same strange clicking sound and no display. I tested the monitor with the thinkpad again and it still worked.

So I brought the old computer into the lab and plugged it into a different monitor. Booted up fine, displayed fine. Who knew a multisync monitor could work with some VGA cards and not others? In my garage I had Jim’s old computer and monitor dated 1999. I was sure it couldn’t be a VGA monitor, looked more like the machine was a 286 perhaps EGA era. But it was a VGA. Coincidentally, Jim came by yesterday (after four and a half years) to take all his stuff that was stored here. He ended up leaving the computer (Russell and I are charged with saving the data from it or chucking it, at our discretion). So today I tried the old monitor and the new machine boots up fine.

It happened that the new CPU was in the motherboard when I began today, so I updated the BIOS on the board without bothering to see if it would have worked with the BE-2350 and the old BIOS. The only other trouble I had was that the machine wouldn’t boot with both memory slots full (with either set of RAM) until I put back the 3200+ CPU, then switched them again. I don’t know why that worked, perhaps I just got lucky reseating the RAM enough times.

No Comments | Tags: Computers