VAIOs and Other Dinosaurs

The Sony VAIO has left the office and returned to its owner. Despite a smooth 24 burn-in of the refurbished machine, I don’t have high hopes for its future stability. But it should be good for web surfing and playing solitiare.

While eating lunch today at Frijoles, a family of Mallards wandered onto the patio. Only in Texas do you see baby ducks going out to eat at Mexican restaurants. A couple of waiters gave them a plate of tortilla chips to munch on.

I also saw some small plastic dinosaurs while I was at lunch. Which got me thinking… how many of you have plastic dinosaurs on or near your computer? Taking an inventory of the plastic menagerie around my computer at home I find a Stegasaur, Triceratops, Brontosaur, Parasaurolophus, Tyrannosaur, Brachiosaur (all gifts from an ex-girlfriend), a blue pterodactyl that for several years sat on the dash board of a red Honda CRX, three other pterodactyls that were gifts from my wife, and finally, two foam rubber human brains (one from NAB ’98 and one from SuperComm ’99). Nearby on my bookself are several small plastic robots and somewhere in a box I think I may still have my bag of over 100 realistic ants. Hmmm… what does it all mean?

Anole Feeding Time

This morning, the anole who manages the territory in the front of our house was out surveying his domain and bobbing his head at us. He was brave enough to eat out of my hand. If I haven’t mentioned it before, there’s a nice picture of him over on Susan’s home page that I shot a couple of weeks ago. After lunch I stopped by the office to finish beating the Sony VAIO into submission. It’s now as stable as it’s ever likely to be. This afternoon we had another go at swimming and I managed about 30% more laps than last time. Now it’s off to read a few chapters of the O’Reilly Perl Cookbook


Further analysis of the Sony VAIO problems has led me to believe the best possible disposition of such a machine is to encase it in several feet of cement and drop it into the Pacific ocean somewhere near the Marianas Trench. The second best option (not nearly as much fun, however) would be to dig up an ancient DOS boot disk, use fdisk to wipe the master boot record, repartition, format, and install Windows 98. Then, track down and install a few device drivers. Nah, couldn’t be that easy, could it?

Itaipu, Seuss, and VAIO

I’m listening to Philip Glass’ Itaipu as I write this. I find it has a curative effect on brain clouds. I’ve spent a good part of the day fighting with a Sony VAIO computer. Don’t laugh – it’s not mine! I’m doing this for a good friend of mine. A casual survey of usenet will reveal that the opinion of any randomly selected Sony VAIO computer is somewhere between “a dog” and “a very sick dog”. Most people either return them or throw them away in disgust. All that’s needed in this case is to get Windows 95 or 98 installed and working to the extent that the computer can be used for web browsing. The primary difficulty is that the hardware is highly unstable. To paraphrase Dr. Seuss, the Sony VAIO has a bad case of gleeks and should lie flat on it’s back in a bed for eight weeks. But I’m determined to persevere. Stay tuned for more on this one…