August 2007

Summary: Barbara G visits. Club Dragon with Nate. Ikea with Chris, Nate, and Patrick. Karaoke with Remi, Jesse, Patrick, Chris, Nate and others. The Lego Store with Patrick, Chris, and Nate. I start supervising at UCSF. Espetus Churrascaria Brazilian Steak House with Jen C, Nate, Chris, and Patrick for Nate's birthday. Golden Gate Bridge and first dinner with Chris and Nate. Dinner at Chris and Andy's with Chris, Andy, Remi, Jesse, and Patrick. Began work on Danny's new website.

Dates on this page

Wed Aug 1, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Attended Joe H's Enrolling in your savings plan presentation—I needed a review of how the UCSF retirement savings plan works. Joe was an excellent presenter and knew his material very well. Helped Joel with listserv issues. Closed a city tour for student NT. Troubleshot 100% cpu problems with Chris's laptop. Met with Cindy one on one. Lunch: leftovers. Surplus pickup followup. Helped Chris with electronic letterhead questions. Partners in D followup. Linkchecking inquiry to Tony H—he says he's been out of town and their website should be online within a week. Linkchecking followup with Sierra A. Dinner at Thai Chef with Mom Ryan, Barbara G, and Patrick. It was my first time meeting Barbara, who is Patrick's cousin from Boston. She's a lot of fun. My web hosting provider seems to have gone dark tonight, so now,,, and, and my and Patrick's e-mail are all down but there's nothing I can do about it since the problem appears to be in their hands.

Thu Aug 2, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Closed a city tour for student NT. Web updates for Scott. Logged in to my Mozy Pro web account just to check it out. Everything looks as expected. Coded web updates for Cindy, sent them to her for review. Lunch: leftovers. Followup with a volunteer for LGBT viz project for Kevin. Helped Dick S with web development questions which really turned out to be a question about file types in operating systems. Installed Boot Camp 1.3 and KB896256 (power management patch) for Chris. Surplus pickup occurred. Installed Scott's new computer. Dinner at Long Life Noodle Company with Sam, Patrick, and Chris. Afterwards we saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the AMC Metreon. No film commercials, but the bathrooms have no mirrors at all and only cold water at the sink. Patrick had difficulty but was eventually successful getting a refund for one ticket because Nate was feeling ill and couldn't go. Parking at the 5th and Mission garages was $15.00.

Fri Aug 3, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Web edits. Closed a city tour for student NT. Followup with Dick S: Acrobat questions. Prepared master cdrom and billing arrangements. Restored an Outlook data file for Scott. Uninstalled Acrobat 8 Pro from Scott's computer. Backed up Scott's computer. Prepared Scott's computer for surplus. Web updates for Cindy: career services. Inventory work. Lunch: burrito from Carmelina's. LGBT viz project: logos and style guide. Separately chatted briefly with my mom, Tina, and Nate on the phone. Tina called today to say that she'll be creating a dessert centerpiece for Beyoncé (yes, Beyoncé!) at a forthcoming event in San Diego! Photos in Tina's photos uploaded on August 3, 2007. How exciting! I forgot to mention that on Wednesday on the Muni N-Judah I saw someone who looked exactly like Adam (of Adam and Rich) but it turned out to not be him upon closer examination. Dinner at home with Patrick: pork chops, peas, curly fries. Stopped by Chris and Nate's. Nate and I went to Club Dragon at Club Eight. We ran in to Kartek and Antoine, Emery, Galen, Yuki, Paul. Emery introduced me to Richard and Yao. I saw Rich but didn't get a chance to say hello—it was too crowded. Mediocre meal at Lori's Diner with Nate. Dropped Nate off at home.

Sat Aug 4, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Chris and Nate drove over to our place. Brunch at Lakeside Cafe with Chris, Nate, and Patrick. Shopping at Ikea East Palo Alto. Restored to operation first-level backups of the Mac Mini. Google Maps has a new feature where you can drag a route to create a new, alternate route. Nate looked at it and instantly realized the extent of the code required to make it happen—that it all needed to be done in Javascript. Amazing! Dinner at home with Patrick: basil pesto chicken boobs, steamed broccoli, rice pilaf, ciabatta bread, Smart Balance. Watched Seven Years in Tibet with Patrick on DVD.

Sun Aug 5, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Edited the first 2 chapters of one of Patrick's fictional works: JFP. Napped. More JFP editing. Began uploading to Flickr some old photos that were previously on or (aka Tweaked home backups. Upgraded Iomega REV software. Dinner at home with Patrick: pork chops, couscous, ciabatta bread, artichoke dip, Smart Balance. Wrangled with my REV drive which was working fine one minute and then not the next—just like at work. After 3 hours of wrangling, I gave up and disabled it. No more Iomega products for me! New logo work for Danny's nail salon.

Mon Aug 6, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Archived data to DVDRW. Small edit to LGBT viz project style guide. Made live career services changes for Cindy. Career services web edit for Joel. Lunch at desk: leftovers. Set up Alyssa's new computer. Prepared Eric's temporary computer. Met with Michael J and Frank M regarding new workspace issues for Eric. Web edits (linkchecking). Backed up Alyssa's old computer. Wiped the hard drive. Prepared it for surplus. Wiped hard drives for 2 more computers and prepared them for surplus. Responded to an entering student's question about computer requirements. Hiring followup. Web edits. Stopped a service on the server and restarted the server. Dinner at home with Patrick: spaghetti and sausage with bell pepper mnage trois in red sauce, bread and Smart Balance. Chatted with Danny, Nate, and Tony Q separately on the phone. Rewrote my webserver backup shell script. Prepared for signing up with Mozy.

Tue Aug 7, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. I forgot to mention that when Patrick and Mom Ryan and Barbara and I ate at Thai Chef a few days ago a really funny thing happened. I was eating a large piece of shrimp. Only the shrimp meat and the tail remained—the shell had been removed by the chef—so to eat it I grabbed the tail and pinched tightly and put everything except for the tail in my mouth. I pinched the tail while biting at the same time and—completely by accident—the force of my fingers pinching the tail and the greasiness of the sauce in the dish caused the shrimp tail to fly about 8 feet away toward the reception desk, and I watched it happen. I immediately started laughing, and Barbara had thought I was laughing at the funny part of her story, which I was because that was funny, too, but I was also laughing at the shrimp tail flying across the room. I was worried that it had hit someone, but amazingly I believe it flew to where nobody was standing or sitting and the restaurant was so dimly lit that no one seemed to notice it at all, so I kept laughing, which seemed to make Barbara happy. I have no idea where that shrimp tail ended up—I forgot to look when we got up to leave. Student computing committee meeting. Yesterday Darik's Boot and Nuke failed to successfully wipe a hard drive due to bad sectors, so today I thought I would try to lock out the bad sectors and re-DBAN it. I used SeaTools to successfully zero the drive, but DBAN still wouldn't wipe the entire drive successfully, so I removed this hard drive for secure disposal—better safe than sorry. Today Apple announced a redesigned iMac and a refreshed Mac Mini. If only the Mac Mini had come out 2 or 3 months earlier I would have bought at least 6 for the office. I couldn't wait any longer, and I couldn't justify buying old Core Duo processors in June 2007. Unfortunately for Apple, we don't plan to buy new computers again until 2011. However, the timing is just about right for me to get one of these new Mac Minis for home—I'll wait until Leopard is out to place my order. Two of our computers at home are due for replacement, and I might be able to get by replacing the 2 computers with just one Mac Mini. We'll see. No new iMac for me—I like portrait mode too much, I don't really need a webcam, and I'd rather keep my existing KVM rather than deal with Apple Remote Desktop or RealVNC—it's much simpler to deal with. Actually, wait. I just found some info on the web which says the (now older) 24-inch iMac was VESA-mountable with an adapter kit sold by Apple. Is this kit compatible with the brand-new 24-inch iMac? And, what happens to the webcam when you rotate to portrait mode? Closed a city tour for student NT. Hiring followup and organization. Helped David H by e-mail with PDF form building questions. Resolved a Software Update Failed error in Netscape for Lucia. Shopped for a new UPS. Lunch from the cafeteria: meat lasagna, corn off the cob, garlic bread, small Cherry Coke: $5.47. LGBT viz meeting. Prepped and handed off the entering students cdrom for duplication. Filed a surplus pickup request. Reminded the office that we're defrosting the fridge on Friday. Dinner at home with Patrick: frozen pizza. Logo work for Drew and Danny. Cleaned out software archive. New stop plates arrived, but I haven't opened them yet. Supposedly I'm the first customer of this new product—it's a STOP Plate from but they've also engineered the plate so that you can attach and remove a lock and cable to/from it. The price is not much more than you'd pay for the lock and cable by itself, so I thought it was a great deal. Thought for the day: If someone were to create a blog that talked about the fastest way to grow marijuana plants from seedlings, you could subscribe to and read the Speed Weed From Seed feed. I just discovered that EIZO is one monitor company that makes hardware-based portrait-landscape-switching monitors. And Viewsonic might still be making those kinds of monitors—I'll have to investigate these.

Wed Aug 8, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Lots of linkchecking to point to the new Clinical Pharmacy website. Web edits for Robin C and Carol. Lunch: burrito. Ghost order followup. Helped student AC with a question about a computer trojan. Helped student GL with a question about spam. Updated current students calendar to include the end of daylight saving time. Lots of small web edits. Dinner at Firewood Metreon with Chris and Nate. Danny couldn't go—he has the flu. Saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Year 5) in IMAX. Slight spoilers ahead. I couldn't remember if I had been to this IMAX theatre before—I think perhaps I hadn't. The screen was amazingly large. Blinking icons appeared at the bottom of the screen to warn that you should put on your 3-D glasses. The 3-D-ness began at the scene where they fly to London and ended after the big fight, and I found it fun and interesting. Ticket was $15. Parking was $12. Dinner was $10.

Thu Aug 9, 2007

Ghost order followup. Downloaded Ghost Solution Suite 2.0.1. Name change followup with Jina. Got contact info for someone from Marilyn and Tara. Lunch with Julie B, Erik W, Ed C, and Michelle F at Nan King Road Bistro. Linkchecking. Prep for Cindy's new computer. Org chart work. Hiring followup. LGBT viz style guide edits. Late afternoon meal: leftover chow mein from lunch. Web calendar updates. Helped Joel import settings into PharmAdMIT. Fielded a report from Scott about something beeping under his desk. It's his UPS battery. I made a note to place a new battery on order. Made an appointment to meet with Susan H. Here's a software application with a (slightly) humorous but quite original name: Chicken of the VNC. Home. Cut my hair, cleaned the bathroom. Dinner at home by myself. (Patrick spent the evening with Aaron.) Herb and cheese ravioli in garlic tomato sauce, bread and Smart Balance.

Fri Aug 10, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast plus a fruit smoothie. Began defrosting the fridge. Ordered a replacement UPS battery for Scott. Archived surplus pickup documents. Reviewed filings for reimbursement. Web calendars update. Preview sessions edits and additional coding. Lunch by myself: Panda Express. My fortune: You will receive an unexpected gift from an acquaintance. Shuttled to Laurel Heights. Met Susan H who will be Eric's supervisor for the Partners in D grant portion of his job. Said hello to Helen in HR then Julie in Public Affairs. Finished setting up Cindy's new computer. More preview sessions coding, sent it to Joel for review but we need to do it interactively since the page has a lot of scripting and a form. More web calendars work. Dinner at home with Patrick: tuna, foccacia, corn off the cob. was down this evening for a few hours while I ran a surface scan on the hard drive—had encountered some problems yesterday. All is well. Watched The Matrix on DVD borrowed from Chris and Nate with Patrick.

Sat Aug 11, 2007

Slept in. Usual oatmeal breakfast plus apricot strawberry fruit smoothie. Helped Patrick troubleshoot a problem with his junk e-mail filters. Chris and Nate drove over. Chris, Nate, Patrick, and I went to Remi and Jesse's karaoke party at Remi's. On the way, we noticed that Nate worked about a block away from Remi's place, so we drove by to see the site. And at the party we discovered that Remi's housemates David and Nikki both also work at SRI. After karaoke, we stopped briefly at the Lego store in Hillsdale Shopping Center then had dinner at El Toreador Mexican Restaurant (415-566-2673, 50 West Portal Avenue). Service was very good except for a small mixup over a beef enchilada and chicken taco versus a chicken enchilada and a beef taco which I didn't really care about. The food was delicious.

Sun Aug 12, 2007

Slept in. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Registered security devices. Prepared a package to send to Tina. Began work on Danny's new website. Dinner at PDD's with Phil, Drew, Danny, and Nate: Vietnamese soup without noodles, pork and fish, steamed rice.

Mon Aug 13, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Eric's first day—all went well. Took him on a campus tour, part 1. Picked up orange juice. Introduced him to the office. I brought in mini cinnamon buns and mini orange-cranberry scones and orange juice. Campus tour, part 2. Lunch at Ten with Eric. Shuttle ride to Laurel Heights to have Eric sign human resources paperwork. While waiting I read from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Year 6). Shuttle ride back to Parnassus. Answered a computer services question for an alum. Submitted new e-mail account request to OAAIS. Fixed Netscape "software update failed" problem for Lucia (again). Set network scanner name for Joel, Alyssa, and Scott. Dinner at Espetus Churrascaria Brazilian Steak House with Jen C, Nate, Chris, and Patrick for Nate's birthday. We had never been here before but we were delighted to have become acquainted with it. Jen had been here several times before and introduced us all. You pay a single (admittedly steep) fixed price to gain entry to an all you can eat buffet of salads and other hot and cold side dishes. When you return to the table, men walk by holding huge skewers of grilled meats and seafood. If you set the indicator on your table to green, he stops by your table and deposits a serving of meat on your plate if you so desire. When you need a break from meat eating, set the indicator to red. About $50 per person before drinks. The flavors of the meats were particularly memorable to me—I can't recall having tasted these combinations of spices and flavorings before. Meats were almost always tender. The shrimp, while tasty, were particularly hard to peel. This dining experience was easily the most unique I've had in a long time, and I recommend it.

Tue Aug 14, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Made live and announced new pages about IPPEs. Preview sessions edit for Joel. Followup with new hire preparations. Plugged in PharmAdMIT e-mail settings for Scott. Current students calendar update. Filed a reimbursement request with Susie. Required software cdrom status update. Answered computer requirements questions from entering student JU. Removed Bluetooth adapter from Joel's computer. Coded new update from the dean. Lunch: takeout from Palio: half san paolo sandwich, chicken salad, mineral water, wedding cookie. Helped an applicant with problems with Form E of the supplemental application. More update from the dean coding. External link checking for update from the dean. Prox card followup. Removed a large unneeded monitor from Eric's workspace. Shared laptop updates: Microsoft Update, Defender scan, Remote Buddy, Office 2004. Turned off FileVault for all accounts on the shared laptop. Installed Boot Camp 1.4. Disk cleanup, defrag. Disk Utility: fix permissions, verify volume. Archived receipts for reimbursement. Downloaded photos from the camera. Dinner at home with Patrick: almond pilaf, grilled chicken boobs, leftover tiramisu. Watched The Matrix Reloaded on DVD with Patrick.

Wed Aug 15, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Old laptop maintenance: Microsoft Updates, Firefox update, disk cleanup, defrag. Helped Scott with a problem in Outlook 2007 in which he would assign a named category to a calendar item but it would not be colored the color that that category was colored. The problem occurred when right-clicking a calendar item and selecting the category from the popup menu that appears. If we selected All Categories from the popup menu and assigned the category using the Color Categories dialog, the problem did not occur, but this was much less convenient when there clearly exists functionality to do so via the popup menu. After the category was assigned but the proper color did not appear, we'd right-click the item, open the Color Categories dialog (formerly known as the Master Category List) and "(Not in Master Category List)" would appear next to the name of his category with the box selected and no color specified. After several minutes of troubleshooting, the only way I could find to resolve the problem was to create a new category called the same thing as the old category, assign the same color, and assign all items categorized with the old category to the new category and also remove the old category from those items. This problem is, in my opinion, a design flaw with Outlook in general and Outlook 2007—there shouldn't be a need for a "master category list"—categories that are created should automatically be added to the global "master category list" without a distinction between local and global categories. I think people don't care about local versus global categories—they just want it to work and the easiest way to do this (given Outlook's current situation) is to make all categories global. John K launched the new OAAIS website yesterday, so I did a bit of linkchecking—no major problems. Helped Carol and Cindy with Office 2007 document compatibility issues. Lunch: leftovers at desk. Disabled caching on some network shared folders. New hire followup. LGBT viz work. More document troubleshooting for Betty-ann and Barbara. Uninstalled Office 2003 from both shared laptops and installed Office 2007 and latest updates. Calendar and other minor web edits. Reviewed and approved cdrom proof. Disk cleanup and defrag for both shared laptops. Printed a binder cover and spine. Dinner at home with Patrick: salmon with ginger scallion sauce, Annie's peace pasta with parmesan cheese, corn off the cob with bell peppers medley. Watched The Animatrix on DVD with Patrick. Dessert: leftover lemon cake for me only. (Patrick tried it yesterday and didn't like it—he doesn't like lemon desserts.)

Thu Aug 16, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Checked on Microsoft Updates for Cindy's new computer—they installed overnight as expected. Dropped off office supplies for Eric, he showed up while I was there. I took away his computer and brought him back a chair. LGBT viz work. Lunch: sandwich from the cafeteria. Continued computer setup for Eric. Met with Eric to review computer hardware and software decisions. Temporary computer setup for Eric. Paper mailbox request for Eric. Listserv maintenance for Claire. Started reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Year 7).

Fri Aug 17, 2007

Resolved PharmAdMIT 2008 update problem for Joel. Resolved PharmAdMIT 2008 crash for Scott. Double-checked permissions to PharmAdMIT program folders. Gathered CPR data for Alyssa (a painful process). New computer upgrade for Cindy. Lunch: beef stroganoff, grilled vegetable medley, brown rice, dinner roll from the cafeteria. More CPR data gathering and class list updating. Yesterday I uninstalled Miro on the Mac Mini because it crashed just while opening and restarting it caused the same crash, and I did not care enough about what Miro did to troubleshoot the problem. I was not terribly impressed when I had first installed Democracy, so this new experience with Miro did not surprise me. Helped Joel and Scott set up the laptop for the application workshop. Met with Eric. New hire workspace setup followup. Dinner at home with Patrick: roast pork loin, peas, steamed rice. Several months ago I realized that I had gathered so many RSS feeds that it was sucking too much time away from my life. So to restructure my RSS reading, I now keep a short list of RSS feeds I read daily and check my entire list at the end of the week, say Friday night or Saturday. The whole list is exactly 99 feeds, not including work-related ones about UCSF. I'm also much less focused than before, skimming more than reading. The change has helped, I think. I am still using Sage with Firefox to read RSS. I've been sneezing more than normal lately, so I started on Flonase after a long time of not using it. Watched video files left over from Miro.

Sat Aug 18, 2007

Cut my hair. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Attempted to download Adobe Fireworks CS3 Tryout but when I clicked the Continue button I got the hourglass icon and nothing happened. I saw in the status bar that the request was still pending ("Waiting for"). Hit Esc. Clicked Continue—same thing. Let it sit for a few minutes and then gave up on that. Tried and saw similar problems—request was pending but nothing happened. It looks like the Adobe ftp site is not working: Error 425: Can't open data connection. Ugh. I was hoping to install the tryout and use it to throw together a mockup of Danny's new website before leaving for Kiana's birthday party, but I guess not. Patrick, Mom Ryan, and I drove down to Los Altos to help my niece Kiana celebrate her 2nd birthday. In attendance: Poppy, Dexter, Rob, Lani, Jeremy, Matthew; Lance, Shawn, Gracie, and Drew; Paul, Alex, and ?; Ron, May, and one-month-old Christian; Johnson, Chika, Samantha, and Julie; Corinna and Allison; Diane, David, and more. Alex, at 8 years old, demonstrated his knowledge of German. Home. Showered. Realized that I had been uploading duplicates of some of my old photos, started resolving that by deleting those sets that didn't have comments or weren't favorited. Downloaded Fireworks CS3 tryout. Patrick signed up recently for SkypeIn so that people can call a San Francisco number and reach him on his computer in China. It's only $60 a year for unlimited calls, and it includes voicemail. Uploaded photos to Flickr. Read from Harry Potter Year 7. Dinner at home with Patrick: baked chicken breast. Signed up for and installed Mozy for home computers backups.

Sun Aug 19, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Planned out new computer purchases: After Leopard is released, I'll get a Mac Mini to replace 2 Windows computers. I'll also get a ministack v2 500 GB drive for music and photos. Brunch with Sam, Chris, Nate, and Patrick at The Butler and The Chef Cafe. Patrick got eggs benedict with ham. Everyone else got pain perdu (French toast). Laughed at the Jollibee opening soon sign which advertised crispy chickenjoy and juicy yumburger. Stopped at the Apple Store and tried out the new iMac and wired keyboard. Nate didn't like the feel of the keyboard at all. Chris didn't like it either. Patrick didn't mind it. And I liked it a lot. Played with a display iPhone. Chris liked a lot of things about it but thought it was way too slow for browsing the web—it felt like worse than dialup to both of us. Chris and Nate's first time seeing the Westfield Center atrium up close. We sat for a bit waiting for it to get close to movie time. Saw The Simpsons Movie at Westfield. The theatre plays film commercials that aren't movie trailers, and I did not enjoy that. The Simpsons Movie was satisfying and met expectations. Dropped Chris and Nate off at home. Home. Started using Fireworks CS3 tryout. Found a series of Adobe Video Tutorials which worked well except that it did not provide a video introduction to using Fireworks. I understand the concepts and I'm familiar with Photoshop, Illustrator, and page layout concepts as in InDesign, but I was looking for a tutorial which walked one through setting up a new website design using Fireworks. Used it for less than an hour before deciding I didn't really need it for this project. Dinner at home with Patrick: Korean beef, steamed rice, steamed carrots. Worked on Danny's new website. Encountered problems attempting to upload photos to Flickr very late tonight. Our neighbor got locked out today—says he lost his keys while riding his bike.

Mon Aug 20, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Spent most of the day migrating a Powerpoint presentation from an old template to a new template. Helped Cindy with some data gathering. Troubleshot network connection problems for Carol. Helped student LR with a problematic IP address specification in her network settings. Minor edits and made preview sessions live for Joel. Installed Ghost, had some trouble with the cd burner—I hate how unreliable these things are. Dinner at home with Patrick: Niman Ranch pork chops, steamed broccoli, pesto in potatoes. Worked on Danny's website: inserted nav, put in scripting to detect current day.

Tue Aug 21, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Started getting a sore throat today. Student computing committee meeting. Staff meeting. LGBT viz work. Lunch: leftovers. Prox card / ID card meeting with Chris and Cindy. Prepared summary of hardware and software purchases. Dinner at home with Mom Ryan and Patrick: shrimp and pasta in a tomato cream sauce, garlic bread. Chatted with Nate. Printed photos for Mom Ryan.

Wed Aug 22, 2007

Restarted the DSL modem and router. Usual oatmeal breakfast plus strawberry and asian pear fruit smoothie. Home with a sore throat. Took care of work issues. Stayed in bed; read from Harry Potter Year 7.

Thu Aug 23, 2007

Shower. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Home with a sore throat. Finished reading Harry Potter Year 7. I enjoyed it very much. There are only a few questions which remain unanswered. Funny things I read today: Facebook and Rap Lyrics Translated. "Those Brazilians are incorrigible!" He's right, though about MySpace. Dinner at home with Patrick: Patrick got chinese takeout. My fortune: No obstacles will stand in the way of your success this month. Patrick's fortune: Don't underestimate yourself. Your social skills are needed by others at this time. I learned how to configure OS X to use AppleScript to rotate the display. (Thanks, Conrad! It works very well!) Well, it works great except that you have to wait a few seconds for it to close and it's unclear how long you should wait or when you can stop waiting.

Fri Aug 24, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. I set the Mac Mini back to portrait mode. I like it too much. Lately I've had new hardware desires in a bad way. I discovered that Samsung—my favorite monitor maker—makes the monitor I want which automatically changes the display from landscape to portrait and back. They call their feature Magic Rotation with Auto Pivot. The Samsung SyncMaster 244T is the only widescreen monitor they make with this feature, so that's the one I must have. I also identified the Mac Mini and 500 GB miniStack v2 that will replace 2 computers at home. And Patrick recently has been needing a camera to take to China, so I'm giving him my old Canon Powershot A610. The Canon Powershot A650 IS becomes available next month and it looks like it will be a lot better for taking photos in low light which I frequently do now but with very blurry and worthless results. Upon arrival at work, I was somewhat supposed to go to the Partners in D Train the Trainer training but the number of messages in my inbox more than doubled in the 2 days I was gone, so I started picking things out. It was more important for Eric to be there than me anyhow; I'm not planning to do the work we hired him for—he's certainly capable of doing it on his own. Answered a question about computer purchases for student PN. Web edit followup with Susie. Performed a restore of 2 small files from Mozy for Scott—it took about 90 seconds, which in my book is extremely fast for any start-to-finish backup operation. For a comparison, let's look at the restore steps for Retrospect which go something like this: (I'm doing this from memory...) Click Restore > Files. Select source. Select destination. Specify filename. Set a lot of settings just right. Click Restore or Go or whatever. Retrospect prompts for the password to the backup set. Open the password manager. Copy the password to the clipboard. Switch to Retrospect. Paste the password. Click OK. Wait for it to tell you what media item to insert. Walk to the document safe. Retrieve the named media. Insert the named media. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Check that files are restored. Remove media. Put media in document safe. Lock safe. Okay. So here's Mozy: Open Windows Explorer to My Computer. Find and open the Mozy device (object) in My Computer. Under the Mozy device (object), you see all the files that have been backed up. Navigate the file system until you find the file you want. If Mozy has more than one copy of a file, it will show you all the versions it has and you can view details to see which is newer or larger. Right-click the file you want and choose Restore or Restore To. Wait. Check that the file you wanted is restored. I think Mozy has more ways to restore than this, but I haven't investigated them all yet—haven't had time—but the scenario today proved Mozy a winner. Nearly all home computer users and probably most small business users don't need backup as sophisticated as Retrospect. Mozy gets the job done with the minimum of fuss required. The only thing I think could be improved (so far) with Mozy is that it's not very intuitive how to begin to restore. When presented with the need to restore, the first place I went was the system tray icon. But with Mozy, you need to browse the Mozy device (object) in Windows Explorer. Mozy could improve its product by letting you right-click the systray icon, choosing an item called Restore, and having that open Windows Explorer to the Mozy object. Web home page edits for Susie. A-Z list edit for Tony T. Stopped in at the Train the Trainer break, chatted with Tim, Susie, and Eric briefly. E-mailed Nancy N photos for Susie. Reminded current students about computer deals at the techstore. Chatted on the phone with Kurt G and Teresa R briefly. Refreshed OSACA introduction slides for Cindy. Chatted on the phone briefly with Kirk H about door locks and e-mail setup with Apple Mail and Entourage. Paper mailbox followup for Eric. Followup with student MB regarding computer setup. Preview session followup with Alyssa. Lunch by myself at L'Avenida: chicken soft taco, tortilla chips, Dr. Pepper. Bought a few groceries after lunch. Calendar management. Chatted with James briefly. New hire followup with Eric and Helen. Required software cdroms arrived. I unpacked mine and sent copies to Heidi and Kirk and Rodney. Chatted with Rodney briefly. Asked OAAIS to redirect a URL because their new website launched after our cdrom went to press and the cdrom had a URL in it that isn't yet being redirected. Chatted briefly with resident AH. Lucia reported the Software Update Failed problem again with Netscape. I don't know why the problem keeps coming back even after I do the active-update.xml fix. I searched Google for "software update failed" "keeps coming back" but got nothing. Gave up for now. Followup with Lucia about a WebCT project. WeID setup. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers. Caught up on blogs and e-mail. Calendar management. Worked on Danny's website some. Disk cleanup and defrag for some Windows computers.

Sat Aug 25, 2007

Patrick and Sam celebrated today 15 years of knowing each other. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Patrick visited Simmone then later went to a party for Kai. I walked the Golden Gate Bridge with Chris and Nate—their first time walking the full length of the bridge. We got a snack afterwards at the adjacent hot dog diner which isn't a hot dog diner then drove to Union Street and got lunch at Crepes-a-Go-Go. I had wanted to eat at Chez Maman but outside the 2 or 3 tables were full and inside it was unbearably hot like an oven. Food and service at Crepes-a-Go-Go was very good—I would go back. Afterwards we drove back to Chris and Nate's. Chris and I napped while Nate prepared us a delicious dinner—the first they've cooked for anyone since moving in. Bagel chips, hummus, sliced French bread, cheeses. Grilled BSCBs (boneless skinless chicken boobs), deep-fried potatoes, flash-fried spinach with onions and blue cheese. For dessert: individual mini molten chocolate cakes, vanilla frozen yogurt. A wonderful day. Patrick will be having my camera more now until he leaves for China on September 12, so you'll be seeing more photos in Patrick's photostream and less in mine.

Sun Aug 26, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Computer maintenance for Patrick: set him as admin for his China trip, installed the STOP Lock. Brunch with Julianne, Danae, Chris, Nate, and Patrick at Couleur Cafe. Home. Worked on Danny's website. Dinner at Chris and Andy's with Chris, Andy, Remi, Jesse, and Patrick. Grilled vegetable salad, porterhouse steak, grilled figs, bread.

Mon Aug 27, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Met with Susie. Account closures work. Wrote a thank you card for Albert H. Helped Joel configure his Blackberry to connect to UCSF Exchange for e-mail, which was very frustrating because OAAIS does not seem to have the instructions available anywhere on the web. Met with Eric briefly. Lunch: Panda Express. Troubleshot network connection for Eric. Indeed we found further evidence that a static IP was required. Submitted an inquiry about having him use only one telephone number in his two work locations. Purchases research. Checked in with Chris C about OmniLock new codes and setup. Sent Susie proposed new purchases for me and Eric. My computer failed to restart properly as I was leaving—it was in a restart loop so I set it to start in Safe Mode and will have to deal with it in the morning. (sigh!) Home. Dinner at home with Patrick: grilled chicken boob with onions, boiled carrots, and tater tots. Worked on Danny's website. Watched The Bourne Identity on DVD with Patrick. Patrick couldn't stop laughing at the defenestration scene. Worked on Danny's website.

Tue Aug 28, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Joel gave me a thank you card and gift for yesterday's Blackberry assistance. It included 2 movie tickets to Landmark Theatres—so sweet! As I suspected, my computer at work would not start properly this morning. I ran Dell diagnostics and all was well with the hardware. I tried Windows system recovery fixmbr and then fixboot followed by fixmbr but neither worked. I just wiped the drive and did a clean install after copying data over that I needed. In between this tshooting and formatting, I got bits of work done, too. Met with Eric, covering hours, timesheet and reporting, workspace setup, RSS feed checking, digital asset management, purchases, ergonomics, Outlook training, and ECP. Lunch with Joel and Patrick at Pasta Pomodoro. Joel had insalata di pollo with no dressing and lemon on the side. I had healthy fish with minestrone soup. Patrick had risotto verde with minestrone soup. Chatted with Terence at the Police Department about id card and door lock issues. Chatted briefly with Helen G and Nancy W. Dinner at home with Patrick: beef stew and vegetables over steamed rice. Dessert: chocolate chip cookies. Worked on Danny's website.

Wed Aug 29, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Continued setting up my computer: preferences setup and migration, found more apps to install. Network connection followup for Eric—his connection appears to be only 10 Mbps so I thought I would ask OAAIS what was up with that. Met with Shannon and Sue about the forthcoming school retreat. Answered a mail quota question from James. ICRD followup with Nancy. OmniLock door code followup. Prepped PowerPoint presentations for the school retreat, then loaded them onto USB drives that Shannon dropped off. Collected computer supplies I might need for the school retreat. SCC work: WeID. Followup with Alyssa and Scott about ICRD training. Sent Eric the outline for the DAM project. Forwarded Susie potential homepage news stories. Sent Eric Outlook tip #1. Lunch: leftover cow stew with vegetables and steamed rice. LGBT viz work: sample poster. School retreat followup. Fellowship e-mail account followup. ICRD followup with Scott. Uninstalled Samsung MagicTune and Samsung Natural Color. Installed MagicRotation on the server. Uninstalled MagicRotation on the server. (It didn't work—it screwed up the existing graphics driver in a very bad way—the only mode I could get was 640 x 480 x 4 colors.) Installed PivotPro on the server. Home. I accidentally discovered some interesting keyboard shortcuts in Firefox on OS X. Pressing Cmd+Shift+z zooms in, and Cmd+Shift+x zooms out. Actually, it could instead be Option+Shift+z and Option+Shift+x—I have swapped my modifier keys and I have a non-Apple keyboard so I can't really tell you which it is. Apple really has things all mixed up when it comes to keyboards, I think. Dinner at home with Patrick: chinese chicken salad, pizza. Watched Shanghai Triad on DVD with Patrick. To illustrate the truth behind the "in a time, in a land, one man, one woman" formula for film trailers, here is the script for the trailer for The Emperor and the Assassin:
[black screen, drums]
[gold wreath with words growing in size: WINNER CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 1999]
[cut to testimonials growing in size: "GLORIOUS MOVIE MAKING!"—Ricard Carlin, TIME MAGAZINE (International) and "****! (Highest Rating) A REAL STUNNER!"—Michael Wilmington, CHICAGO TRIBUNE]
[cut to a sword being removed from its sheath]
In a time of war,
[cut to men fighting on horseback, cut to soldiers inside a fortress preparing for war, music builds]
In a land of wealth,
[cut to man of power riding in a parade, cut to wooden box opening to reveal two swords, music builds]
In a world of intrigue...
[cut to a person with long black hair viewed from behind, the camera approaches the person, music builds]
One man [cut to The One Man, music builds] would stop at nothing
[cut to soldiers fighting, music builds]
To forge [cut to an army in battle] the greatest empire [cut to the Forbidden City] the world has ever known. [choir enters, music and choir build]
[cut to army scenes, cut to The Emperor] Sony Pictures Classics [music swells with strings, cut to red-robed man carrying a box] proudly presents [cut to long black haired person on horseback looking across a valley vista] the extraordinary new film [cut to horses and a carriage traveling waterside] from the award-winning director of [cut to a woman lifting a curtain] Farewell My Concubine [cut to a pan through The Forbidden City]
[music swells with strings] Experience the epic [cut to soldiers in the Forbidden City] true story [cut to a closeup of The Emperor's face] of the first [cut to The Emperor on steps in the Forbidden City] emperor of China, [cut to a man raising a sword with a battle cry, cut to arrows flying through the air]
The assassin [cut to The Assassin and assorted assassin scenes] sworn to destroy him,
And the woman [cut to The Woman and assorted woman scenes] of remarkable courage who would love them both. [music swells with strings]
Torn by desire, [cut to scenes showing tearing]
Joined by fate, [cut to scenes showing fateful joining]
Destined to become legend. [cut to scenes showing things becoming legend, heavy on the battle action scenes]
[music with triumphant trumpets and bold drums] The Emperor and the Assassin [show title on screen in gold letters]
Starring Gong Li. [cut to Gong Li's character looking beautiful and turning toward the camera]
A new film by Chen Kaige. [cut to scenes depicting love, then cut to credits overlaid upon a pan of the Forbidden City]

Thu Aug 30, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. MacBook prep and setup: tested Betty-ann's presentation in OS X, tested out various features in Parallels. Lunch by myself at Ten. Got fingerprinted at the police station because I'll be getting access to a security system. Supp app fee and waiver form process web edits for Joel. Manual backup of Scott's computer, unchecked Retrospect 7-day warning for him. Attempted to install a SilverJRunner update for Scott based on a possible warning he received today, but I found nothing to update. Installed SSH for Alyssa. Dinner at home with Patrick: enchiladas. Worked on Danny's website.

Fri Aug 31, 2007

Usual oatmeal breakfast. LGBT viz meeting. LGBT viz work. Sent supp app fee changes to Joel for review. Purchases followup with Susie. Chatted with Joan about Spy Sweeper and Vista, sent a followup message to the committee. Initiated prox lock process with Mike S. Installed Filezilla and Notepad+ for Eric. ICRD training. Org chart work. Home. Dinner at home with Patrick: roast chicken, garlic bread, steamed broccoli, baked potato. Worked on Danny's website.