November 18th, 2005


Fresh Foxes with Mint

The delivery situation with my laptop illustrates one of the key points with ordering things, be they laptops or books -- do not ever pay money for faster shipping. Yesterday, my laptop left Kunshan, China. Today, my laptop is in Pittsburgh, on a truck to be delivered to my office at CMU. I went with the free, slowest shipping option. Hurrah!

For the curious, here's the timetable:

  • 17 Nov 13:41 Some China time - Picked up in Kunchan, China
  • 17 Nov 13:55 Some China time - Reached Fedex location in Kunshan
  • 17 Nov 13:19 Alaska time - Reached Anchorage, Alaska
  • 17 Nov 16:06 Alaska time - Left Anchorage
  • 18 Nov 01:19 U.S. central time - Arrived in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 18 Nov 05:48 U.S. central time - Left Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 18 Nov 06:03 U.S. eastern time - Arrive in Pittsburgh sort facility
  • 18 Nov 07:29 U.S. eastern time - Arrive in Pittsburgh local FeEx office
  • 18 Nov 08:07 U.S. eastern time - On truck for delivery to CMU
Amazing. It's not *quite* as amazing as one would think because the date line is crossed flying through the pacific, but still, amazing.

My feline houseguest is really seeming to settle in, but I'm about to run him/her to the humane society. I wish the owners had called.. Oh well.

I wish I could announce it, but it's not at all there yet -- I'm trying to set up my website's media section, but I haven't yet gotten SpiderEyeballs, the gallery generator I like, configured. Part of it is that it wants a big XML file to configure itself, and I don't want to tweak XML every time I add a directory, so I'm going to wrap it all in Perl, with a per-directory .cfg.

Mozilla Firefox 1.5 is finally out. Go get it!

  • Umm.. no, actually, that's just 1.5RC3. Oh well. Thanks, mozilla folk, for not giving me version numbers on the autoupdate.. again! argh.

Ethereal Settlement

This morning, after leaving the previous entry, I dropped the cat off at the shelter. It seemed like a cool place, and apparently Route501 goes right between there and someplace near my home. I got some information on it -- I may volunteer there once or twice a week. On the way back, I naturally got badly lost and went through the grand entrance/egress to Pittsburgh and then got stuck in traffic on the surface streets downtown. When I made it to work, my new laptop was waiting for me, which is a good thing.

Initial impressions for my dv8000z:

  • Booting it up in windows to get a hardware inventory, its intro thing was extremely loud, and the mute and volume keyboard buttons were helpfully disabled in order to insure maximum irritation. My officemate tactfully chose to take a smoke break when it got too irritating
  • To make this worse, the speakers are nice and can put out some decent sound. However, this is also a plus once one gets out of the Windows intro
  • The keyboard will take some getting used to. It's good though -- it's much closer to being a full keyboard than anything I've had on a laptop before
  • Display quality is good
  • It's lighter and a bit smaller than my work laptop (Dell Inspiron 8500)
  • The CF card slot will be useful if it'll work under Linux
  • The power connector is on the rear side instead of the back. I'm not sure if this is a plus or a minus
  • I didn't need to peel off the Intel sticker, because it's AMD64. I still had to peel off the Windows sticker.
  • The touchpad is off to the left. This isn't too bad for me because I'm a lefty
That's all, for now. I haven't used it much yet because I'm still waiting for my AMD64 Fedora Core 4 DVDISO to download. Suddenly I'm moving from not being able to burn DVDs on anything apart from my VCR/DVD recorder to installing Linux off of a DVD I burned myself. More news to come after I get it installed.