1. I should really find something interesting to write about one of these days.

    02 March 2009

    My bronchitis appears to be almost gone. I've finished the antibiotic carpet bombing of my lungs, and as a result I'm only occasionally coughing up things that I'll not describe to you for decency's sake. The deep, hacking cough that makes bystanders wonder if I should be put in an isolation chamber hasn't reared its gravelly head in twenty-four hours or therabouts, so I should be in the clear. I'm still kind of worn out from the combination of drugs I'm on so I haven't had much of anything to write lately which hasn't consisted of either bitching about falling …

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  2. That coughing you hear isn't from consumption.

    25 February 2009

    At first scratch, it would appear that respiratory troubles are fast becoming part and parcel of my winters in the DC metroplex. Two weeks ago I was fighting off a cold, and rather successfully, or so I thought. Last week I developed a persistant dry cough that now has has my cow-orkers wondering if I have tuberculosis, keeps Lyssa awake at night (even if I sleep on the couch), and busily ties knots in the muscles of my neck and stomach. It isn't one of those coughs that clear your lungs and sound disgusting, but at least mean that you …

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  3. Practical whole disk encryption, or, how to frustrate data forensics.

    23 February 2009

    When you get right down to it, the best way for an attacker to get hold of your data is to shut the box down, pull the drive, and rip a sector-by-sector image to analyze offsite. It might not be quick (depending on the speed of the hard drive, speed of the storage drive, and a number of other factors) but if you're not there when it's done you might not know that it ever happened. However, if you encrypt data at the level of the drive, they can copy the drive all they want but they won't be able …

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  4. Odd Gnome problems, or, what happened to my icons?

    20 February 2009

    While upgrading Windbringer's systemware yesterday, I suddenly ran across a rather odd problem: all of the icons on my Gnome desktop suddenly turned into the default Gnome "blank page with a corner folded down" icon, which meant that Gnome wasn't able to figure out what sort of file a launcher really was. Even more oddly, the names of the launchers themselves turned into (for example), "gtkpod.desktop" rather than "GTKpod", which meant that double-clicking on anything resulted in the contents of the launcher being opened in a text editor. Everything inside of the Gnome application menu could still be executed …

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  5. TARDIS repairs complete.

    20 February 2009

    After a surprisingly short period of time, I found out what happened to my car when it broke down a couple of days ago.

    As it turned out, the thermostat which regulates the cooling system went bad. What happened was that the thermostat erroneously decided to start reading MAXTEMP (which would mean that the engine block was about to melt down); it dutifully sent these messages to the microprocessor controlling the engine. The CPU erroneously decided that the cooling system had fouled up in some unspecified manner and commanded the water pump to start feeding coolant to an overflow bottle …

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  6. TARDIS FAIL

    17 February 2009

    A couple of weeks back I took my car in for 55,000 mile maintenance, during which it was discovered that the water pump was starting to leak, which necessitated a couple of extra hours of work on the part of the car dealership to replace. I figured that everything was hunky-dory with my car, and indeed for a couple of weeks it was.

    Earlier tonight after getting off from a whiz-bang day at work, I noticed that the 'check engine' light had blinked on somewhen after I got on the Beltway headed south to go home. I didn't think …

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  7. Birthday weekend in review.

    15 February 2009

    Lyssa and I started off our Valentine's Day by getting up far earlier than should be allowed by law on a Saturday morning to go to our local H&R Block office to finish getting our taxes done. That morning marked our second trip to get our finances straightened out in Uncle Sam's eyes. I'm sorry to say that our combined medical expenses for FY 2008 weren't enough to earn a deduction, though the repeated trips to the thrift store to get rid of stuff appear to have come in handy. There is a question these days over how many …

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