January 2008

Summary: Wind storm shatters upstairs neighbor's window; House of Prime Rib with Danny, Drew, Phil, Nate, and Chris; Patrick's special dinner; Visited the Honmas; Bryan's BBQ; Macworld; Sushi lunch at Remi's with Remi, Jesse, Chris, and Andy.

Dates on this page

Tue 1

Woke, took a bath, went back to bed, stayed at home in bed all day long beset with exhaustion and fatigue probably from my recent monthlong cold. Lunch: chicken noodle soup. Home pedicure. Dinner at home with Patrick: cilantro pork chops, alfredo macaroni, steamed broccoli. Watched only 30 minutes of Colma at home on instant play Netflix with Patrick. Patrick said he would watch the rest later. Watched The Fifth Element at home on instant play Netflix with Patrick.

Wed 2

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Back to work after vacation. James stopped by to say happy new year. Answered a question from student MP about VPN. Answered a question from student LE about Lexi-Comp. Followup with Mark and Joanie about account closures that were supposed to have taken place on October 1. Answered a question from student JY about Spy Sweeper compatibility—yes, our site licensed version is still not compatible with Vista. Contacted AppleCare because our MacBook battery no longer accepts a charge. They're sending a replacement. Lunch from the cafeteria: salmon, steamed carrots, brown rice, dinner roll. Linked to the new ASSP calendar built by the students using Google Calendar. Investigated VMWare Fusion purchase. Student leadership group photos quick reference sheet and listserv updates for Cindy. Confirmed with Judy at DMM over the telephone that she had the latest and correct document to print for Michelle and Sue. Adobe Flash security updates for nearly all computers.

Thu 3

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Downloaded VMWare Fusion evaluation version. Uninstalled Parallels Tools thinking that I was ready to stop using Parallels and start using VMWare Fusion. Did not successfully receive the activation e-mail message from VMWare even though vmware.com is in both whitelists and the message did not appear in junk e-mail folders or server-side spam filtering. Changed VMWare account settings to a new e-mail address, but resend still used the first e-mail address I provided. Restored a file from backup for Scott. Laptop troubleshooting for student NG. Chatted with student RE about laptop issues. Helped Joel with a PDF printing problem. Sent feedback to Public Affairs about a 26 x 26-inch PDF file. Monthly website backups. Logged out of vmware.com. Tried to log back in and now it seems to recognize the 2nd e-mail address I provided. However, a resend of the activation e-mail message still does not come through. Reinstalled Parallels Tools to continue working with Parallels until VMWare gets their act together. Two hours after I first signed up and the activation e-mail message was supposedly sent, the message arrives. Almost simultaneously I also hear from Sandy saying that she was able to reproduce the same problem. I now have an activation key. Uninstalled Parallels Tools. Late lunch: Panda Express. My fortune: You enjoy playing to a crowd. (!) Chatted on the phone with Rob S. IRC page edits for Chris and Susie. More software installation and updates for student NG's laptop. Installed VMWare Fusion, got it working. So far, so good. Interestingly I occasionally see the exact same redraw problems that I did with Parallels—sometimes when I use Alt+Tab to switch among applications in Windows a transparent ghost outline and drop shadow of that box remains behind, and this is not a significant problem. Fusion does seem a lot faster than Parallels. I configured it for 1.5 GB of RAM and to use 2 virtual processors but I don't know how much of a difference that will make—it's only XP. The Apple battery replacement I had ordered yesterday with AppleCare arrived today—now that's service! Popped the old one out, tested and labeled the new one. The hardest part was the return shipping label which was difficult to expose—I didn't even understand how it was supposed to work at first, but essentially you get a knifelike object and break the perforations along the edges of the existing label, but it's not really clear where you need to cut. I recently discovered some weird keyboard issues. I have an Apple Keyboard (A1048) plugged directly into a Mac Pro, and I also have a Dell keyboard (SK-8110) plugged into an Avocent SwitchView PC KVM via a USB-to-PS/2 adapter. The KVM is connected to a USB port on the Mac Pro using a Ziotek PS/2-to-USB adapter. Most everything works as expected. However, sometimes certain key combinations will fail to work on the Dell keyboard but if I try the exact same (corresponding) key combination on the Apple keyboard, then it works. It's either that the Dell keyboard is somehow wired incorrectly or the KVM is screwing with the signals somehow and not passing them along cleanly. My guess is the KVM. But another weird thing I've witnessed is that on the Dell keyboard sometimes a keyboard shortcut will fail using the modifier keys on the left side of the keyboard but then if I try the same keyboard shortcut using the modifier keys on the right side of the keyboard it will work. I have yet to find a reproducible circumstance, and consequently it's taking some time for me to understand these things. It's just supposed to work, but I don't know if it's the PC keyboard, the USB-to-PS/2 adapter, the KVM, the PS/2-to-USB adapter, the VM's capabilities, the VM's settings, Mac OS, my settings in Mac OS, or the fact that I'm using 2 keyboards at once or any combination of these that is causing the problem. More troubleshooting is warranted. Today I asked Joel to type in a URL I received on a postcard at work, and it goes like this: campuslifeservices.ucsf.edu/documentsmail (41 characters) which is the website for the unit called Documents, Media, & Mail within the unit called Campus Life Services at UCSF. He declined. I think there should be a website called services.ucsf.edu with the home page describing/listing all services which are available to all UCSF and non-UCSF customers, regardless of whether this particular unit owns them or not. Even shorter than services.ucsf.edu would be 311.ucsf.edu, with a nod to the recently new 311 telephone number to dial for all San Francisco city services. I think both domains should exist and point to the same data. Top-level nodes could perhaps be /print, /copy, /docs, /web, /design, /mail, /food, /beauty, /health, /money, ( /join or /apply ) and you might also have a top-level node for each campus so that people can find all the services available at, say, /parnassus, /laurelheights, or /missionbay. I've provided similar feedback to this unit years ago when it was solicited in an annual survey, but my comments didn't seem to have any effect so now I just don't bother filling out the annual survey. (This wasn't the only thing I mentioned that still hasn't been fixed.) Aha! That didn't take long. In OS X with the Finder in focus, Command+Shift+h to open the home folder works on the left side and right side of the Apple keyboard, but on the Dell keyboard only the right side works. I will switch now to a Logitech keyboard (CLASSIC KBD 200, 968019-0403) and perform the same test. The Logitech keyboard was not detected after plugging it in to the KVM, so I plugged it into a Belkin F5U237 Rev. 3 USB hub which was plugged into the Mac Pro and it worked as expected, but there's only one Windows key (on the left side) and it wasn't the same test. Home. Dinner at home with Patrick: snow crab ravioli in vodka sauce with carrots and red peppers. Noticed that the Office 2004 Service Pack 2 is no longer available for download. Downloaded VMWare Fusion. Weird thing about Fusion is that upon first launch it doesn't seem to detect the Boot Camp partition, but if you close the Virtual Machine Library window that first appears, then reopen it under the Window menu, then the Boot Camp partition appears. It's not a major problem, but it's disorienting, particularly for first-time users. Updated DNS for website migrations. Fixed Google Analytics code which broke validation. Fusion is working properly except some Windows keyboard shortcuts don't work as expected (which I expect to resolve by adding a miniature PC keyboard) and Netflix Instant Watching is really low quality—lower than we were watching when in Boot Camp. I tried all kinds of settings in Fusion to fix this, but nothing worked. The need to repeatedly select the Apply button in the settings interface for Fusion is annoying, but really just a minor problem. I've started a list of things which I find are broken in OS X. So far: playing dvds in Front Row, and icon in the dock has a question mark over it; it used to work but now it doesn't—nothing happens when you click it. Installed Adobe Reader for OS X because neither Skim nor Preview were opening some of the PDFs I downloaded. arstechnica is painfully slow to load just past midnight tonight. I stopped using iTerm because I could not figure out how to make the Font palette do what I want to configure the screen the way I like. This is more likely a problem with how Apple designed the Font palette, but I got what I needed to work in Terminal and not in iTerm and I don't care if there's a difference. There's a big storm coming, must shut down the web server now.

Fri 4

Storm day. Still groggy when I woke up this morning, I wondered why someone was jiggling our front door over and over again. After going to the bathroom and waking up some more, I realized that it wasn't someone but something. Our front door is loose in its frame by just a few millimeters, and I never noticed until now, when extremely strong gusts were blowing due to a mighty rain storm that has hit the Bay Area. This wind was strong enough to continuously jiggle our door in its frame, even though the door doesn't face the outside directly. I looked outside and I could see trees being thrown around back and forth like I had never seen before with an accompanying howling wind, and a light rain was falling. I heated up some water in the microwave, and after it finished the power immediately went out. I went to shut down the computers gracefully because I hadn't hooked the UPS cable up to the iMac yet. No problem shutting the iMac down, but the headless Mac Mini wasn't responding to remote access. After a bit of quick thinking, I stole the keyboard from the iMac and plugged it into the Mac Mini, logged in blind, then used the keyboard shortcut for shutting down, which I had learned and memorized only a day or two ago. After a few minutes, the Mac Mini turned off, to my relief. Shut down the UPS. Called in to work and decided to stay home for today (taking a vacation day)—it just didn't look safe to me to leave the house. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Our power came back on a few hours after it had gone out. There was no lightning or thunder for the entire morning, so I felt it was safe enough to hook up the rest of the computing equipment and start it up. Lunch: burritos. Patrick, used to New Orleans hurricanes, didn't feel like staying home and left to visit Aaron. Napped. Dinner: leftover burrito. Worked on e-mail issues for Recharge. Sam came over late because there was no power at his place in Daly City. I figured out how to get the scanning interface restored. Earlier I couldn't figure out where Brother put the appplications, but I found them today in /Library/Printers/Brother/.

Sat 5

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Brunch with Sam, Chris, Nate, and Patrick at Namu. On the drive over, we saw lots of downed tree branches and leaves and twigs on the roads. Afterwards we all went to the de Young Museum, Chris and Nate's first time, and Patrick and I paid for our membership renewal. Midday meal at home with Patrick: ham and monterey jack sandwiches. Sold my copy of Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac for $45 plus shipping and a Netgear DS108 hub for $20. I napped. Dinner at home with Patrick: frozen pizza which wasn't very good but we were kind of expecting that. Watched The Line of Beauty on DVD with Patrick.

Sun 6

Slept in. My favorite breakfast at home with Patrick. House chores. Patrick did dishes and laundry while I vacuumed and reorganized computer and telephone equipment in the rackmount. Secured devices with brand new Kensington locks. Set up an emergency monitor connection for the headless Mac Mini. Set up an easy access USB port for the Mac Mini. Shortened an audio cable that was too long. Lengthened and rerouted a network cable that was too short. Got shared folders working in Fusion. Got Winamp and KeePass working in Fusion. Got the cordless telephone working again. Got the wireless headphones working again. Organized and labeled mounting hardware. Cleared trash and packaging. Organized user manuals. Installed Max 0.7.1. Cut my hair, showered. Sold a rackmount chassis for $25. Dinner at home with Patrick: chicken quesadillas, side of black beans. Worked on fixing Lodestar following the webhost migration. Gave Aaron his new instructions for accessing webmail. Some htaccess file directives are not being processed, and I don't know why yet. Tried using Apple's Image Capture application to download photos from my camera, but I didn't like it because I preferred the utility built in to XP which lets you name a folder in which to store the images while you download. I couldn't see a way to do this in Image Capture, and I didn't want to use iPhoto because I didn't want to be locked in to a single application. (Chris later pointed out to me how to do this—change the "Download to:" picklist from "Pictures" to "Other..."—but in my opinion this is one example of an interface that is too elegant because it hides the Other option under a picklist thereby creating more of a hurdle: you need to select the picklist in order to even see that the option exists. In any case, in OS X the images result in names like IMG_0001.jpg whereas in Windows the images result in names identical to my folder name with 001, 002, and so forth, so I still prefer the Windows interface.)

Mon 7

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Small web updates for Cindy. Set up a test Google calendar for Chris and invited him as an editor/owner of the calendar. Met with two students separately: spyware and virus problems. Met with Susie and Eric: web team updates. Met with Susie about website updates. On the way home I noticed there was YAMM (Yet Another Muni Mess) at 9th and Irving this evening around 6:30 PM. An N-Judah train was stopped right on the corner for at least 20 minutes, and there were many emergency vehicles and police vehicles around it flashing emergency lights. A police car had northbound 9th Avenue blocked off at Judah with red flares on the road. Dinner at home with Patrick: lemon chicken, steamed carrots and broccoli, baked potato. Dessert: strawberry sorbet, chocolate and chunky peanut butter cookies. Added films to our Netflix queue. I forgot to mention that on January 4, the day of the big storm, our upstairs neighbor had a window frame shatter. The window was a swing out kind and must have caught the wind with an amazing amount of force because the entire wooden frame had come apart and broken glass fell everywhere. Fortunately no one was injured. We lent them some duct tape while they waited for the landlord to come over.

Tue 8

At the very bottom of their home page, far below lead-ins to stories about Britney Spears and dog obesity, sfgate.com reported today that the Muni N-Judah train I saw yesterday struck a 90-year-old woman at 5:41 PM. The woman was severely injured and taken to SFGH. Why is this news not worthy of being the top story or at even above the fold? Usual oatmeal breakfast. Edited funding page for Susie. Health insurance page update for Cindy. Rsync is very slow today, I asked Julie to investigate. Student computing committee meeting. Staff meeting. Scott and Carol tied in winning the annual guessing game of how many applications we receive (which make it to initial review). Their winning guess was 1,015. Lunch by myself at Minh Tri: bbq pork with imperial rolls and vermicelli noodles, hot tea. Taught Lucia how to scan over the network directly into Acrobat and OCR at the same time. Pharm sci resources edits for Carol. Ordered replacement UPS batteries for Alyssa and Cindy. Tiny home page edit recommendations for Eric. Chris and Nate picked me up at work, then we drove over to Danny's spa where he closed up the shop and we met Phil and Drew for dinner. Phil wanted to try out House of Prime Rib (415-885-4605, 1906 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco), which looked like it was going to be expensive, so I was hesitant, but then he offered to buy dinner so I couldn't argue with that. We had a round of drinks while we waited for a table. The interior has a good ol' boys feel to it, but modernized and tasteful. The entire bar and restaurant was crowded—completely filled, which seems surprising for a niche menu and a Tuesday night. The menu is essentially set. You can order 4 types of prime rib or one kind of fish special. There is one item for kids—a special prime rib plate. You choose your main category of prime rib (extra thick, extra thin, small portion, or classic), specify your desired meat temperature, choose a vegetable (creamed corn or creamed spinach), and choose a potato (mashed or baked). Essentially everyone gets salad with the house dressing. I think most everyone gets Yorkshire pudding, too. (Except Chris.) 6-inch (wheat?) sourdough rounds are served with butter on small cutting boards with a heavy-duty knife which wasn't a bread knife. The salad is next—the server literally spins the serving bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice while adding seasonings and dressing before the toss. Huge portions served on (I think) 10-inch plates. I ate half of mine and it still looked like I hadn't started. I ended up eating about 80% of it—didn't want to get too full to eat meat later. When the meat is served, a giant stainless steel cart-dirigible is wheeled tableside and a carver cuts your servings while you watch. I ordered mine medium well, and it was not as good as I imagine the rarer cuts were. It seemed at our table that the rarer the meat the happier the eater was. But I still enjoyed the food and the old school experience. Service was mostly very good. Most of the servers had an air of being rushed, and on one occasion I saw two servers bump into each other, one of them nearly losing two cups on saucers in his hands. We skipped dessert.

Wed 9

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Listserv update for student CH. Helped student MK understand spam filtering. Minor web edits for Cindy. Self Study final appendix followup with Barbara. Helped Carol with a password problem. Something is possibly wrong with the campus strong passwords implementation—is it starting already? Two passwords in my unit expired today. Lunch: burrito ranchero from Carmelina's, chatted with Eric in the work room. Diversity project. Troubleshot problems, software installs, and software updates for Chris's laptop. Reported a VPN and Firefox problem to OAAIS. Rick responded that it's a known issue since Fx Dinner at Thai Chef 2 (415-551-2433, 4133 18th Street, San Francisco) with Patrick: spring rolls, coconut rice, ginger fish, yellow curry chicken. I especially enjoyed the ginger fish, which is still crispy even though it's been layered with a sauce. Home. Laminated a City CarShare ID card for Joel since the card was getting all tattered and since Joel said please (after I asked him to say please).

Thu 10

Minor web edits. Schedule updates for Lucia. Helped student DH with a question about Palm. Sent Eric Outlook Tip #15. Reported status of photos for student diversity project. Took a survey for Kevin. Coded diversity profiles. Lunch at The Pub with Erik, Kristen (sp?), Ed, John, and Abby (sp?). Healthy fish and lemonade for me. We had a few minutes to kill before the meeting, so we found a way to preoccupy ourselves with some games. CSC meeting at Mission Bay: Jeff Fritz gave a state of the network presentation. Dinner at home with Patrick: tricolor rotelle pasta with rock shrimp and diced ham, lemon, tomato sauce; dinner rolls and Smart Balance. Watched I'm The One That I Want on DVD (netflix) with Patrick.

Fri 11

Diversity profiles followup with Susie. Helped students with student org website connection issues. Helped student AD with listserv issues. Scheduling. Helped student RA with website connection issues. Website migration meeting at MCB. Helped Shane with a question about file permissions and her website. Lunch with Scott N, Alyssa, and Eric in the work room: leftover burrito, leftover pasta. Helped Mike L with a question about e-mail. Troubleshot Apple Mail connecting to UCSF Exchange. Met one-on-one with Eric. Anthony made delicious homemade caramels which Alyssa shared with us. Special dinner at home with Patrick. For his Christmas present to me, he presented me with a menu from which I was to select one each of 4 or 5 choices of 1st course, 2nd course, bread, accompaniment, drink, and dessert. I selected almond, zucchini, curry, and mint salad; spatch-cooked cornish hens with rosemary lemon glaze; star-shaped petit cheddar biscuits; moroccan carrot salad; pear lemonade; and cherry almond tart with cinnamon ice cream. He made everything in-house, even the ice cream, which was impressive because we don't have our own personal Pacojet or other ice cream maker or machine.

Sat 12

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Webbed. Watched the trailer for Speed Racer on imdb—looks a little cheesy and Patrick didn't think the dialogue was all that great, but I don't think Wachowski bros. would disappoint—they're too smart and talented for that. I forgot to mention that I sent a message to my doctor about continuing symptoms of my cold and he prescribed me some antibiotics which I started taking 2 days ago. Flickr has been down for a few hours today, and I have photos I need to upload. Stayed home and got things done like house cleaning and computer software installation (Adobe CS3 which takes forever to install and then the updates take another forever to install). Dinner: delivery from Golden Gate Indian.

Sun 13

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Patrick's stomach wasn't feeling well today, so he stayed at home the whole day. I had brunch with Chris and Nate at their place: waffles with a wide assortment of waffle toppings, sausage. Visited my sister's family. I didn't know she was cooking brunch, so I joined them for brunch but didn't eat anything. We opened Christmas gifts late since I was sick all last month with a cold. Kiana received an Ikea panda bear stuffed animal. Jeremy and Matthew loved the Star Wars LEGOs that we got them. I helped them disassemble their artificial Christmas tree. Note to self: They do not need Christmas ornaments. I took a nap while my sister and Jeremy and Matthew harvested oranges from a tree in the back yard. Rob went off to play hockey. Bryan's BBQ. I brought seafood salad and orzo salad from Safeway. On the television: America's Top Model, Family Guy, and the show that follows Family Guy. New people I met: Leland, Matt S. On the drive home, the moon was so beautiful. Its crescent smile colored creamy yellow-orange with a foggy outer glow brought a smile to my own face.

Mon 14

At 12:31 AM today, Flickr's blog claims they are up, but my uploads still fail to complete: "Houston, we have a problem." Overdue for bed. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Linkchecking followup with Chris. Quick faculty page edit for Susie. Print pub review for Susie, which resulted in us deciding that we no longer specify "http://" in conjunction with URLs in print publications. The web has been around for 15 years, so I believe that if today you can't recognize a URL without the http://, there are probably other cognitive skills that need more attention. Seven years ago, you couldn't be as certain about it, but times have changed. Prepared the truly final appendices for the self study. This took a lot of time because I had been given multiple versions of dozens of documents and could not keep track of all the changes. It wasn't so simple as keeping everything in a folder because documents originated in different applications, some changes would come in after documents had been compiled into a single PDF, some changes would come in after I had the single PDF and after I had created footers for the document, and so it was far easier to use the text changing tool in Acrobat than to regenerate all the work over again, and so forth. After only one round of review, Barbara approved the version I had built, so I did the handoff and this is now done unless they also want a copy of the final on the web which they haven't yet requested. Made preparations for Macworld. Laptop maintenance for student QT: c: drive is out of space and there's a worm on the computer. Lunch: turkey and cow sandwich with cheddar, pasta salad, hot water. We recently have 2 temps in the office helping with application processing. Temp #1 is also named Scott (Scott N), and temp #2 is named Peter. Checked in with Eric about tweaking Retrospect backups. Data gathering (attempt) for Lucia, referred her to Doug and Jina. Helped 2 students get their feet wet with website building for a student organization. Student diversity project: selected, processed, and added photos for 2 students. Overheard in the elevator: "Did you know I was in an elevator here in the earthquake in '89? Yes, the elevator stopped and I thought it was broken like everything else around here and didn't think anything of it." Dinner at home with Patrick: pig chops, leftover Moroccan carrot salad, Safeway Organics macaroni and cheese. Dessert: leftover homemade cherry almond tart with homemade cinnamon ice cream. Prepared packages for mailing.

Tue 15

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Watched liveblogging from the Macworld keynote—macrumorslive.com was the best because it used AJAX to refresh the data. Linkchecking followup with Eric. Account access followup with students for student organization. Macworld arrangements. Photo request from Shannon. Photo request from Bob D. Chatted with Chris about a proposed health events web page. Lunch: panda express. My fortune: You have the makings of a leader. Reviewed web changes to delegate some of the work to Eric, gave the project a code name: Big Bird. Checked in with Kathleen about a question for our temporary digital librarian position. Big Bird followup. Completed laptop maintenance for student QT. Made web snippets available to Eric so that we can be consistent about using abbr tags. Diversity profiles work. ICRD work with Terry and Doug. Checked in with Rodney about Lexi-Comp. More ICRD work. To install OLPPS at UCSF, find the installation instructions on the OAAIS website. You need to install stunnel first, followed by OLPPS, then remember to use the magic IP address when connecting. Dinner at Underground Sushi Time with Patrick. We both enjoyed our dining experience here. Visited Scandy at their home on Noe Street, dropped a gift to thank sneeper for helping with my iMac purchase. I love my new iMac! We talked a few minutes about maneki neko (the beckoning cat), Roomba, computers, science fiction novels, fantasy novels, writing, work hours, commutes. Sneeper mentioned how Marooned in Realtime really creeped him. Sneeper forced me to borrow some books: Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen, The Peace War, A Game of Thrones, and A Clash of Kings. I now have 8 books in the reading queue. Home. Made final arrangements for tomorrow with Chris by phone. Chatted phone with Danny—we're having dinner at their place tomorrow. Chatted online with sneeper and Tony Q.

Wed 16

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Today I took the day to attend Macworld. Apple released a bunch of new products, and the homepage lead new product announcement was the Macbook Air, which looks like it will be a hit to me. Met psychobauble and Marta at W Hotel for second breakfast. We had difficulty registering because of poor instructions on my pre-badgeholder badgeholder and poor signage which didn't make any sense, but eventually we figured it all out. The Macworld people did some things really well (self-sign-in registration) and some things really poorly (credit card swiper was present but did not work like we thought it should, only 1 line to pick up printed badges but several badge distribution points based on last name). The show floor was crowded, but mostly relaxed. The most unusual thing I saw was an NEC widescreen monitor which looked like it was the width of 3 or 4 normal widescreen monitors, and it was joined together essentially seamlessly in a smooth curve. Lunch with psychobauble and Marta at Thirsty Bear Brewery. I didn't buy anything at the show, but after the show I went to Central Computer and bought 2 surge protectors and a Firewire cable. Stopped in at H and M mens but didn't buy anything. This H and M store is always playing really great music. Watched Simpsons and ate dinner at PDD's with Phil, Danny, Drew, Patrick, Mom Ryan, and Paul. I also showed them the instant play feature on Netflix.

Thu 17

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Met with student MM: Lexi-Comp install, handheld wireless setup, questions about backing up data from handheld to laptop. Prepared for a meeting. Lunch with Eric at The View (the building's cafe) at Laurel Heights. Chatted briefly with Jeff M then a bit later with Julie B. Met with Rob, Susie, and Eric about the digital library position we're trying to hire. Things take so long at the university—our new expected hire date is early March, but at least we got confirmation that we could hire someone for 6 months. Debrief with Susie in The View. Eric and I headed to the shuttle stop to return to Parnassus, and Rob ends up giving us a ride since he's headed that way anyhow. Worked on Snuffy, the code name Eric chose for one particular section of Big Bird. Snuffy is short for Snuffleupagus—we have trouble spelling and pronouncing it. Changed UPS batteries for Cindy and Alyssa. Home. I set up two Belkin surge protectors. Dinner at home with Patrick: Mollie Stone's crab cakes, penne in cream sauce with herbs. Watched the pilot episode of All American Girl starring Margaret Cho on DVD (public library) with Patrick. It had a few good laughs but was mostly weak and poorly written. (Sorry, Margaret!) Watched nearly all the commentary for the pilot episode. Tried setting up the longer Firewire cable I bought yesterday, but it's still too short. Copied HSK file settings for HTML-Kit to my USB drive to take to work. Set up e-mail URL redirects for Danny's website. Did some catching up on and organizing of e-mail. Flickr posted Flickr Uploadr 3.0.3 yesterday—maybe this will fix the problems I've been having. I haven't been able to upload any photos for 4 days. Yes, Flickr Uploadr 3.0.3 enabled me to upload the set that failed to upload the past 4 days, but I still got a weird script error at the end of it. Uploadr is still not working perfectly, I think, and I predict there will be another update soon. Found an ambiguous usability problem in Uploadr 3.0.3—will post it to Flickr later. Must wake up early tomorrow for an early meeting at Mission Bay. (Well, early for me.)

Fri 18

Susie and I were both running a tad late for a meeting at Mission Bay, so I met her at her house and we both drove over in her car. The meeting went well and we returned to Parnassus where she had more meetings. Worked on Big Bird. Met with student QT: laptop wireless questions. Helped student KS with a question about smartphones and PDAs. Quicktime 7.4 installs for most office computers. Helped Joel set up his new black MacBook which he bought today from our campus computer store at a great price. InDesign install for Alyssa. Associated P65 filename extension with InDesign for Alyssa, Cindy, and Joel. Learned that campus recycling will accept UPS batteries with dimensions of 2" x 4" x 5.5" at the battery recycling bin at the UCSF Bookstore on Parnassus.

Sat 19

Slept in. My favorite breakfast at home with Patrick except he made bacon instead of sausage. Tried uploading 2 photos with Flickr Uploadr 3.0.2 for OS X and again the photos uploaded successfully but I still received a script error from Uploadr. Uploadr 3.0.x for OS X is still messed up. Tried uploading 13 photos with Flickr Uploadr 3.0.2 for Windows XP, got the "Houston, we have a problem" error message again. Uninstalled Flickr Uploadr 3.0.2 for XP. Installed Flickr Uploadr 2.5 for XP. Tried uploading 13 photos with Flickr Uploadr 2.5 for XP—success with no errors! Uninstalled Flickr Uploadr 3.0.2 for OS X. Installed Flickr Uploadr 2.3.1 for OS X. Tried uploading 3 photos with Flickr Uploadr 2.3.1 for OS X—success with no errors! Disabled a lot of unneeded services in my Windows XP virtual machine. Uninstalled Windows Desktop Search which I never used to see if it prevents occasional music skipping when played in Winamp through XP through VMWare Fusion. Uploaded photos to Flickr—everything works as expected now that I've stopped using Uploadr 3.0.x. Sound stopped working in Fusion today, and I spent over an hour troubleshooting it and could not fix it. It was working fine earlier this morning. Helped Patrick install the Microsoft LifeCam NX-6000 webcam that my sister's family gave us for Christmas. It works. Installed Yahoo Messenger for Mac on the iMac. There doesn't seem to be any non-beta IM client for OS X that is multi-platform, multi-protocol, and also does video chat. Moved the miniStack to the rack mount and rearranged cables. Plugged the Tripp-Lite SmartPro UPS into the iMac, but OS X didn't detect it, and Tripp-Lite doesn't provide any software for OS X. Reminder to self: purchase APC or Belkin next time. Started using CERT's RSS feed to stay current with vulnerability alerts. Backed up Sage settings. Prepared a package for mailing. Wrote a thank you note. I still have the slightest remains of congestion from my 6-week-long cold. Almost completely better now. Cut my hair, showered. Dinner at home with Patrick: beef jambalaya, dinner rolls. A recent Apple software update seems to have fixed some broken things when viewing DVDs in Front Row. Previously there was no way to navigate DVD menus, and I think this has been fixed or improved but have not fully tested it. Watched Amazing Stories "The Main Attraction" and Wash West's The Fluffer (2001) on Netflix instant play. The power went out this evening. Archived documents. Registered key codes with Kensington.

Sun 20

Slept in. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Stopped at Trader Joe's to pick up sake. Sushi lunch at Remi's with Remi, Jesse, Chris, and Andy. This was everyone's first sushi-making experience, and Remi and Jesse did a great job preparing all the food in advance. Or maybe I've done it once or twice in the past but if I did I don't remember it well. Afterwards we played a card game called Apples to Apples, which I narrowly won and thought was fun. John, Nikki, and David made an appearance near the end. Drive-thru car wash. Dinner at Burgermeister of Westlake, which I learned today has a significantly more extensive menu than the other Burgermeister locations. Stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home for grocery shopping. Be my Netflix friend.

Mon 21

Slept in. "You do not have sufficient access privileges to rename" error message in OS X is annoying. The problem happens after Patrick copies files from his computer (Windows XP) over Samba to the iMac running 10.5.1. The copy is successful, but he is unable to rename the file in Windows XP. He comes over to the iMac and attempts the same rename, but then the error message appears: "You do not have sufficient access privileges to rename the item '[filename]'." Permissions on the file as shown in Get Info are: You have custom access: everyone = Custom, (unknown) = Read and Write, frankfarm (Me) = Read and Write, everyone = Read only. We do not use any maintenance utilities such as Onyx, Cocktail, Macaroni, or Leopard Cache Cleaner. Will not troubleshoot this now. Archived documents. Worked on Danny's website: coded new page for medispa services, sent it to Drew for review. Doctor appointment. Lunch at the Kaiser cafeteria: Vietnamese pho (chicken noodle soup) and shrimp spring rolls with peanut sauce. Everything tasted really good. The spring roll wrappers tore somewhat when I unwrapped it from its plastic wrap. Met Patrick and Mom Ryan at Recharge Spa where they had some services done. Chatted briefly with Phil, said hello to Danny, who was very busy. Coffee at A Bon Port on Castro Street. I attempted to mail a return of some Firewire cables from pccables which were unusually sticky, but it would have cost about the same for return shipping as I paid for it, so I aborted the return. If you need a 15-foot, 6-pin-male-to-6-pin-male Firewire cable and you live in San Francisco or I'll be seeing you soon, let me know. Picked up a prescription for Mom Ryan, bought some supplies at Walgreen's. Dropped Mom Ryan off at home. Home. I rigged a wrapping paper storage solution using 3M decorating clips and some all-purpose sewing thread. Reconfigured my e-mail to use IMAP instead of POP, adjusted spam filtering. Dinner at home with Patrick: Korean cow, green beans, Thai-style lime-flavored rice. Chatted online with Drew. Left messages for Nate and Tina. Adjusted Yahoo Messenger preferences to bounce the dock icon as an alert. Paid bills, submitted transit reimbursement. Quicktime 7.4 update for Patrick's computer. Investigated Mozy options—it's not clear from their FAQs if I can transfer my 2-year contract from PC to Mac. Set up a new heating pad for my upper back. The doc today said my back pain is just due to a little tightness in the joints of the spine and should go away on its own. Gave me tips on stretches and exercises.

Tue 22

Student computing committee meeting. Worked on Snuffy. Lunch: Ten with Joel. Worked on Snuffy. 1-on-1 meeting with Cindy. Worked on Snuffy. Attended a tax talk for California registered domestic partners. California's Franchise Tax Board now requires most registered domestic partners (RDPs) to file tax returns as married filing jointly or married filing separately—details are available in Publication 737 on the board's website. The talk was given by Deb Kinney, JD, and Greg Bogdan, MBA, CPA, and it was quite helpful to be aware of these changes. Deb Kinney's most important advice: Keep your sense of humor when speaking with your tax planner. Dinner at Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant (415-682-0826, 754 Kirkham Street, San Francisco): small wonton soup, veggie deluxe with bean vermicelli and Shanghai bean curd sauce in clay pot, ginger with bok choy (crispy), white rice, brown rice, tea. Home. Installed Mozy on the iMac. They let me transfer my Mozy contract from PC to Mac, not a problem—whew!

Wed 23

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Telecommute day. Worked on Snuffy and Big Bird. Had some trouble with my HTML-Kit installation—the cursor would not update properly or would blink a lot like it was doing a lot of cursor updating. Uninstalling HTML-Kit and reinstalling it cleanly fixed it. Lunch: leftover cow jambalaya, Triscuit, flax seed tortilla chips. Started using Spaces in OS X today. The new wired keyboard from Apple switches around some default keyboard shortcuts that Apple has standardized in the past. For example, until the release of this keyboard (last year?), F11 was the button to push to reveal the desktop. On my aluminum Apple keyboard, however, pressing F11 decreases volume. It's very confusing. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers. Recently sound stopped working in VMWare Fusion and I couldn't fix it no matter what I tried. Today, however, it's working again. Weird. Still, it's better than UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME in Parallels.

Thu 24

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Listserv maintenance. Met with student DH about Lexi-Comp, which wouldn't install to a Tungsten E2. This laptop was also responding very slowly. I asked the student to let me work on it during the day. The student also reported occasional BSODs, and one occurred while I was running a full virus scan. Worked on Snuffy. More listserv maintenance. Tshooting permissions problems with Eric. Reported rsync slowness to Julie. Student DH's laptop: hardware diagnostics revealed some drive problems which chkdsk seemed to repair successfully. Did other maintenance with it. Strategic plan launch review. More listserv maintenance. Snuffy and Big Bird cleanup edits for Susie. Pulled photos off the camera for Lucia. Student DH returned and we troubleshot the Lexi-Comp install. No SD card on the Tungsten E2. I eventually found and unchecked a checkbox called something like "use external card" and I think that fixed it. Lexi-Comp is not very easy to install, even with Lexi-CONNECT. We guess that having an SD card helps, but we're not certain—the Lexi-Comp system requirements don't say anything about an SD card, it doesn't warn if there's not enough memory on the device to store what you plan to install. Informed Chris about the library's forthcoming June migration to GoPrint. Helped Joel with his personal (home) laptop.

Fri 25

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Helped Joel decide what new printer he needed for home. Met with student BY. Laptop display goes black a few minutes after booting. Problem happens even with external monitor. Come back Monday when I'll bring in my IDE/SATA-to-USB adapter. OAAIS website migration details. Big Bird final edits and cleanup. Diversity project. Student DU dropped off a laptop, says it has a virus. More Big Bird. Met with Eric and Susie about the strategic plan launch. Met with Eric 1-on-1. Dinner at home with Patrick: pasta.

Sat 26

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Lots of house chores. The thread I used for the wrapping paper storage solution didn't hold, so I redid the whole thing today with wire instead. 3M decorating clips might still be too weak to hold it, so we'll see. Repaired some loose velcro in the bathroom cabinet. Oh, the 3M decorating clips didn't hold, so I did anchors and screws. This should do it now. Recently I've been told of two web developer positions open—one at UCSF and one at Golden Gate University. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact me for details. Aaron came over and I helped him migrate a hard drive from a Dell Inspiron 700m to a Dell Inspiron 8600 because the 700m wasn't working properly anymore—4 short beeps upon startup and nothing else, indicating a likely problem with the motherboard—about $300. The hard drive migration took about 4 hours, but the "new" laptop is now working properly. Dinner at home with Patrick, Aaron, Quyen, Danny, Drew, and Phil: Patrick made an assortment of appetizers (rustic whole wheat bread, garlic loaf, garlic-stuffed olives, cornichons, pickled garlic cloves, olive oil with balsamic vinegar), winter soupe au pistou, and chicken fricassee with two vinegars. To drink: 2006 Cotes du Rhone rose. For dessert: choice of 3 sorbets: mango, melon, and chocolate; 2001 Trentadue viognier port; 2006 Elysium black muscat.

Sun 27

Cleaned after last night's dinner. Breakfast at home with Patrick: bagel for Patrick, breakfast hash for me. Lodestar work. Lunch: leftover winter pistou. Worked on Danny's website. Dinner at Yet Wah (415-387-8040, 2140 Clement Street at 23rd Avenue) with Patrick, Nate, and Chris: deep-fried wontons plus Country Village set dinner (foil-wrapped chicken, egg flower soup, mu shu pork (they call it musee pork), almond pressed duck, chicken with scallops sauteed with tender greens, Queen's beef, steamed rice. Delicious. Afterwards we got dessert at Toy Boat: one tiramisu each for Chris and Frank, key lime pie for Nate, molten chocolate cake for Patrick.

Mon 28

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Met one-on-one with Susie. Met with students MY and AD about Apple Mail configuration. I couldn't get OAAIS's settings to work, either; reported it to Mark B. Quick lunch at desk: leftovers. Met with student BY: retrieved and transferred the needed file. Account management. Spent at least half of the day coding a basic science vision document for Susie. Snack: got frozen yogurt from the cafeteria with Joel. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftovers. Voted by mail. Fixed Lodestar after the second web host migration. Well, I think I fixed everything except the RSS feed, which will wait for another day.

Tue 29

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Coded a web page describing strong password changes that people need to know about. Visions web work. itssrv1 closure, notified our students what they needed to know. Management activities. Diversity project coding. Dinner at home with Patrick: cow steak, steamed asparagus, steamed rice.

Wed 30

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Strong passwords reviews and updates. Computer labs web page update. Chair management with Eric and Scott N. Placed my order for a 5-pack of VMWare Fusion. Arranged with our VMWare contact to have my trial license extended. Initiated discussion with Public Affairs regarding the forthcoming server migration. Sent Eric Outlook Tip #16. Lunch: my leftover sandwich from yesterday was not very appetizing, so I got a sandwich and couscous salad with shrimp at Palio. Management activities. Posted an updated P1 schedule for Lucia. Started coding more of the board of advisors and board of overseers web pages for Susie (this is the last remaining part of Big Bird and Snuffy). Dinner at PDD's with Mom Ryan, Phil, Danny, Drew, Paul, Chris, Nate, and Patrick: bun bo xao, boneless marinated chicken, rice cake. Dessert: Paul brought a variety of sweets from Bristol Farms, flavored coconut "worms," durian cakes.

Thu 31

Usual oatmeal breakfast. I haven't uploaded photos since around January 12. I have a lot in my camera, but I just haven't had time. Web hosting issues followup. Helped student MY with a question about autoindent in Word 2004 for Mac. Lunch with Ena and James at Park Chow. Made diversity web pages live except for one page which has yet to be completed. Management activities. I've been wanting to download Office 2008 for Mac but haven't had time to investigate this until today, but then I realized I don't have access to our download information so I sent a message to Valerie to get her help in sending me the correct info. Sent a message to all students about the forthcoming strong passwords policy. HTML e-mail coding for Sue and Mary Anne. Dinner at home with Patrick: lemon chicken, organic white cheddar macaroni and cheese with sliced zucchini. Watched part of Xanadu (1980)—Patrick was too tired to watch the rest.