January 2009

Summary: Japanese New Year's Day feast with the Honmas, wzrdofaus's gold party.

Dates on this page

Thu 1

Showered. Breakfast: black cherry yogurt. Patrick and I picked up Janko, drove to Honma House, celebrated the new year with a Japanese feast. Attending: Patrick, Janko, Lani, Rob, Poppy, Akemi, Kiana, Matthew, Jeremy, Suzan, Norman, Dex, Chris (sp?), Jean (sp?), Christine (sp?), ?, May, Ron, Christian. Home. Dinner at home with Patrick: pizza. Signed up with Mint—it looks really great! Chatted briefly with Tina on the phone. Late meal: steamed rice with Danny's leftover cow stew.

Fri 2

Slept in. Cut my hair. Lunch at home by myself: pastrami with havarti sandwich. Errands. Dinner at home with Patrick: linguine with vegetables in marinara, sourdough rolls, Smart Balance Light. Watched The God Who Wasn't There (2005).

Sat 3

Slept in. Patrick baked a coconut-blueberry pound cake. Breakfast: fruit smoothie, coconut-blueberry pound cake. Worked on Danny's website: uploaded custom gift certificate design to SpaBoom. Patrick took a nap. Journal updates: added 2009 files, updated summaries, made small edits. Dinner at home with Patrick: bbq pork and vegetables stir-fry, leftover steamed rice. Watched Heroes season 3 episode 9 (It's Coming) on Netflix instant watch with Patrick. After much detailed research I have decided that CrashPlan+ will be the offsite backup solution I will use in addition to using Time Machine locally. A 5-year-warranty 1 TB hard drive will cost $100, an enclosure or dock will cost about $40, CrashPlan+ will cost $60. So $200 will theoretically give me at least 5 years of offsite backup not counting backup-buddy-side power and bandwidth and possible offsite backup downtime due to a hard drive crash. The hard drive I selected is the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 (ST31000333AS), which is particularly energy-efficient and also very quiet, so power and noise shouldn't be too much of a concern for my backup buddy. Another good choice is the Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B, but the consumer-grade version has only a 3-year warranty and the higher-priced server-grade version has a 5-year warranty. (I think consumers buying hard drives should avoid anything with less than a 5-year warranty. This means avoid some Hitachi and probably all Samsung drives for now.) CrashPlan+, like macminicolo's Transport, will let me do the initial backup locally and then physically send the drive offsite for incremental backups, which means that the impact on bandwidth will be minimal. However, there's a big difference when you look at the price. A new Time Capsule for Transport takes on the warranty of your Mac, so for me with 3 years of AppleCare with a 1-year-old computer, that means my Time Capsule would have less than 2 years of warranty. And a 1-TB Time Capsule is $500, and Transport is a minimum of $29 per month (or $348 per year). So I could spend a minimum of $1,200 and get a minimum of 2 years of backup with Transport, or I could spend $600 and theoretically use CrashPlan+ for 6 to 8 years, buying CrashPlan+ upgrades every 2 or 3 years and buying newer and larger hard drives as my offsite backup drive dies beyond warranty. Transport = $1.64 per day (over 2 years) or $1.41 per day (over 3 years). CrashPlan+ = $0.11 per day (over 5 years), and CrashPlan+ gets even cheaper the longer that hard drive lasts. Now I just need to find the right backup buddy. Must be outside of the California Bay Area, preferably outside of California, must have a stable internet connection with decent bandwidth, and preferably with an always-on computer (but this isn't a requirement for me—yet). By the way, my first-generation Mac Mini has a power load of 85 watts, for what it's worth. I bet if needed I could retrofit that with a 2.5-inch solid-state hard drive (SSD), attach an external energy-efficient terabyte hard drive, ship it all to my backup buddy, and come out with a very-low-power offsite backup solution that doesn't require my backup buddy to have an always-on computer. At minimum the drive can sleep when not needed—not sure about the computer. I've been researching offsite backup solutions for months now, and so it feels good to have come to a conclusion on it. There are so many choices available that it's definitely not easy picking the right one. I still feel everyone who cares about their data needs at least 1 onsite and 1 offsite backup solution. In general offsite backup solutions are more robust for Windows users than for Mac users, but this has more to do with the large number of Windows users determining the market potential than it does with what is technically possible. With OS X based on UNIX you might think that there would be many good solutions available for Mac, but there really aren't (I've investigated them all), and that kind of makes CrashPlan+ particularly appealing because it removes the platform barriers—you can own a Mac but back up to a friend with Mac or Windows or Linux (or Solaris).

Below are examples of Console errors that I have recently received from Time Machine. It's not clear to me if these errors are things on which I need to act, but I think I can ignore the -43 errors. (Occurrences of my computer's name have been replaced by "computername" and occurrences of my OS X account username have been replaced by "username".)

Jan 2 09:04:38 computername /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[45132]: Error: (-43) SrcErr:NO Copying /Library/Application Support/IDriveforMac/username/backupReferenceFile.plist to /Volumes/Time Machine/Backups.backupdb/computername/2009-01-02-090437.inProgress/ECE6F133-B42E-4C5E-98BE-72FBBB281D4E/Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/IDriveforMac/username
Dec 30 08:04:37 computername /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[19341]: Error: (-43) SrcErr:NO Copying /Library/Application Support/IDriveforMac/username/backupReferenceFile.plist to /Volumes/Time Machine/Backups.backupdb/computername/2008-12-30-080436.inProgress/578DA9BC-E5A3-4EF7-9DCD-5093096CF7FF/Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/IDriveforMac/username
Dec 29 17:04:46 computername /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[14490]: Error: (-43) SrcErr:NO Copying /Users/username/Music/$RECYCLE.BIN to /Volumes/Time Machine/Backups.backupdb/computername/2008-12-29-170436.inProgress/81059C26-EFD9-4A64-B6C1-D24C31328222/Macintosh HD/Users/username/Music
Dec 27 18:32:03 computername /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[9197]: Error: (-39) SrcErr:YES Copying (null) to (null)
Dec 27 19:32:05 computername /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[9389]: Error: (-43) SrcErr:NO Copying /Users/username/Library/Preferences/ByHost/.GlobalPreferences.0014510b0a6a.plist to /Volumes/Time Machine/Backups.backupdb/computername/2008-12-27-193145.inProgress/24DE2617-8FFE-4BFD-B536-F37EB08483DC/Macintosh HD/Users/username/Library/Preferences/ByHost
Dec 26 01:17:57 computername /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[57361]: Error: (-43) SrcErr:NO Copying /Applications/.DS_Store to /Volumes/backup/Backups.backupdb/computername/2008-12-26-011744.inProgress/C764CF15-B3A1-4418-988E-E7EA2DF448FF/Macintosh HD/Applications
Dec 25 08:17:48 computername /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[51171]: Error: (-43) SrcErr:NO Copying /Applications/.DS_Store to /Volumes/backup/Backups.backupdb/computername/2008-12-25-081743.inProgress/6CA64E19-7FA5-4754-8B9D-6797F241AB11/Macintosh HD/Applications

Sun 4

Slept in. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Forgot to eat lunch. Put items for sale and free on craigslist. Coincidentally delivered a broken flashlight to Anthony L and Alyssa L. Dinner at psychobauble and Nate's with psychobauble, Nate, Danny, Drew, Patrick: antipasto, garlic bread, cow and spinach lasagne. Dessert: dark chocolate squares, amaretto cookies. We brought over our DVD player for them to hook up to their new plasma TV but we forgot the remote and they didn't have an HDMI cable. Home. Chatted late with Alex K.

Mon 5

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Updated current students calendar. Archived website data to 2.5-inch external hard drive. Verified offsite backup hard drive and Time Machine hard drive. Helped student AP with a question about setting up email for another student. Listserv maintenance. Prepped old laptop for surplus, migrated all data from it to the new laptop. New laptop new software installs and Microsoft updates. Temp Rebecca joins us again for another few weeks. "power policy manager unable to set policy, access is denied" error when attempting to set power settings for a non-admin user on the new laptop. Workaround: in the User Accounts control panel, add the user as a Power User. I learned today that it seems to be impossible to do certain mouse operations in Boot Camp using the built-in trackpad for the aluminum MacBook (December 2008)—e.g., right-click on a Quick Launch button, and right-click-and-drag anywhere (e.g., from a file in Windows Explorer to the desktop). Works with a real mouse. Doesn't work with the MacBook trackpad. I also learned today that Firefox 3.0.5 in OS X has hidden keyboard shortcuts. For example, if you visit a web page, right-click a link, and press the T key on your keyboard, the link opens in a new background tab. This mirrors keyboard shortcut behavior in Firefox for Windows, but on Mac you don't have any indication of the keyboard shortcut like you do in Windows (the underlined T in the popup menu). This is great for productivity, but only for people who happen to know about it. This shortcoming is likely not due to Mozilla but rather, I suspect, due to Apple because Apple hasn't been paying as much attention to keyboard shortcuts as Microsoft has. I discovered this keyboard shortcut feature only by accident. I was familiar with this behavior on Windows and had been switching to and away from my Vista VM and accidentally did a presumedly-Windows-only-action on the Mac side, and after I saw the resulting behavior on Mac I had to stop for a few seconds and ask myself, did that just work? Yes, it did! Sold an old graphics card of mine to Juan for $5. Thanks, Craig N! When attempting to open the Boot Camp control panel as a non-admin user, I received the following error message: "An error occurred while trying to access the startup disk settings. You may not have privileges to change the startup disk. Make sure you have administrator privileges and try again." I wanted to change the Fn key behavior. Workaround: temporarily change the user to have admin privileges (in the User Accounts control panel), log in as that user and change the Boot Camp control panel settings the way you want, log out, log in as admin, revert the user to have non-admin privileges, log in as that user, test function key behavior. Today when I ran Disk Verify in Apple Disk Utility on the drive that had my VMware virtual machines, Vista crashed in a way that also hung OS X. I guess you're not supposed to do that—I didn't know. Sold 2 old power supply units of mine to Charlie for $20 total. Thanks, Craig N! I received a new year's day card from Joel today which included a nice article about Sandra Bernhard. Thanks, JWG!

Tue 6

Breakfast: blueberry yogurt, a slice of blueberry-coconut pound cake, orange juice. SCWG meeting. Error 0x80240016 when attempting to manually update definitions for Windows Defender in Windows Vista in VMware Fusion 2.0. Seemed to have made this go away by opening IE7 and disabling Sophos Web Content Scanner. Not sure, though. Last time I got this error I resolved it by opening IE7 and disabling Launch WinHTTrack. CTSTF meeting. Phone meeting with Susie. Scanned old comps of website designs from the days of Martha. Lunch: leftovers at desk. Sent confirmation requests for focus group participants. Announced to the office that the new aluminum MacBook is now in service. Began web coding for the new academic and pathway calendars for 2009-2010. New printer setup for Shirin. Dinner at home with Patrick: tortellini with sausage in marinara sauce, sourdough roll, Smart Balance Light. Watched Heroes season 3 episode 10 (The Eclipse: Part 1) on Netflix instant watch with Patrick. Late meal: leftover bbq pork stir-fry, cherry lowfat yogurt, V8 juice.

Wed 7

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Spent most of the day styling the new BTS website and chatting on and off with Susie. Lunch: leftovers. Dinner at home with Patrick: cashew chicken, steamed rice. Watched Heroes season 3 episode 10 (The Eclipse: Part 1) on Netflix instant watch with Patrick. Spent about an hour troubleshooting Windows activation error "Authentication failed with the following error: 0x800705B4." The solution described as Method 1 by Tony Krijnen worked for me. I didn't think it would, but it did. Chatted on the phone with Steve M. Edited and uploaded photos to Flickr.

Thu 8

Breakfast: sliced apple, water. Focus group followup. Helped student MY with a question about Sophos. Focus group pizza order followup. Discovered that the Sophos download provided by OAAIS leads to a website with an expired SSL certificate, which is a complicated, 4-click workaround in Firefox and a 1-click workaround in most other browsers. Reported the problem to OAAIS. Continued troubleshooting error "Please wait while Windows configures Adobe Acrobat 8.1.3" which no longer appears when right-clicking files on the Windows desktop or in Windows Explorer but still appears when launching any Office application such as Word, Excel, Outlook, or PowerPoint. I solved part of the problem using the solution found by searching the web on "Kostic Branislav - 12:49am Aug 15, 07 PST". Today I again tried the solution found by searching the web on "Bueford Tannon - 6:55am Mar 31, 08 PST". The Bueford Tannon solution did not work for me when I tried it in November, and it did not work for me when I tried it again today on a different computer. Purchased a printer cable at the Tech Store. Helped student CF with a listserv question. Websteering lunch with John K at NKRB. IT Services meeting. Completed installation of Shirin's printer. Prepped imagery for the BTS website. Troubleshot color printer stuck tray problem, called Sak Y for service. Reviewed new wireless instructions for Rebecca and OAAIS. Troubleshot a Belkin USB hub that was giving Chris trouble—swapped it with the identical one on my desk, no problems, gave him mine with additional suggestions on how to isolate. Home. Opened a package that Susie L had sent recently: a gift basket with gourmet coffee grounds and a medium-sized coffee cake! Delightful! Dinner at home with Patrick: hawaiian pizza. Dessert: coffee cake with hot mayan cocoa spice tea. Edited and uploaded photos to Flickr. Recently 2 different people on 2 different days told me that they were reluctant to buy a Mac because the mouse had only one button. I laughed at this because Apple's current mice—the Mighty Mouse and the Wireless Mighty Mouse—both have the 2nd button that these people wanted but you can't tell that it does just from looking at the mouse. Apple's elegant design hides the 2nd button underneath the case; it detects left-clicks and right-clicks just the same as a non-Apple 2-button mouse. Apple's current mice actually have 4 buttons—the 3rd button is under the scroller ball (press the ball down to activate it) and the 4th button is activated by squeezing the sides of the mouse. I have my button #3 set to Dashboard and button #4 is not set to anything. (I have an irrational fear that if I squeeze the mouse then something might ooze out.) To me, this situation of people reluctant to purchase Apple computers based on the lack of a 2-button mouse is an example of Apple design gone slightly awry in that marketability based on familiarity did not seem to have been accounted for in the design of the mice. I would not have expected anyone to say that the lack of a 2-button mouse was a dealbreaker, and, ultimately, it probably isn't with the 2 people I talked to, but it does create an unnecessary hurdle that the customer and Apple must clear in order to complete a sale. I still find it silly that when you buy a black-and-silver MacBook or MacBook Pro your Apple Remote and power adapter and power cord are all white. These should be either silver or black. Similarly, the Apple Keyboard should be silver and black, and the Mighty Mouse should be either silver or black. On an unrelated note, I predict that Apple will eventually release computers in colored aluminum similar to colored anodized aluminum products we began seeing in the 1990's. I predict that the first release will have a small set of colors—perhaps 5 or 6. If successful, a wider palette will follow. Kind of like how the iPod line grew to include iPods of color. Tomorrow is the last day of Macworld, and although I have a ticket to the exhibit hall I'm not going to go. There's too much to do at work, and Apple announced nothing particularly exciting to me on Tuesday.

Fri 9

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Met with Cesar to resolve static IP address problem—all fixed now. I forgot to also change the gateway IP address—silly me. Realized that when you have the old Apple Keyboard that has function keys numbered F1 through F16 OS 10.5.6 does not let you assign F14, F15, or F16 to Expose features. Grrr. You can with the newer keyboard. I have the newer keyboard at home and the older keyboard at work, so I cannot set my keyboard shortcuts consistently even though both keyboards have F14, F15, and F16. Web updates for Susie: faculty page. Sak Y stopped by to troubleshoot the laser printer. He unjammed the paper tray and I showed him the mysterious black plastic part that had fallen out of the printer. The part has something to do with the out-of-paper detection. So our printer works now but if it runs out of paper we won't be warned. Sak will try to order a replacement part. More styling of the new BTS website: homepage news, secondary page header, added and conformed to a grid that Susie wanted. Met with a student who had questions about a Palm Tungsten E2. Lunch at desk: leftovers. Assorted web edits for Cindy. Calendar coding and PDF production for Cindy. Began revising the privacy section regarding patient medical records and AB 211 and SB 541. Dinner at home with Patrick: grilled pork chops, mashed new potatoes with parsley and lemon-and-chive vinegar-free dressing, corn off the cob, sourdough roll, Smart Balance Light. Dessert for me: one XOX Truffle. Watched Reservoir Dogs (1992) on Netflix DVD with Patrick. We had never seen this before. It's more gore and violence than I prefer in a film, but we both enjoyed it nonetheless. What an amazing early Tarantino work.

Sat 10

Coffee cake and hot mayan cocoa spice tea. Patrick is organizing the music collection, so I helped him with some file conversion activities using CDex, and we also tested MacMP3Gain on 2 files using radio gain mode. It seems to work as expected. Errands with Patrick: Walgreens, Ranch 99 Market. Today I again found a case in which Spotlight did not find a folder when I searched on a substring of its name. I confirmed that Spotlight was not excluding the folder (or any parent of it), but yet I was able to find the folder by manually digging. Spotlight usually seems to work, but after enough of these kinds of examples I know it doesn't always work properly, and that's somewhat more frustrating than not having Spotlight at all. Uploaded videos and photos to Flickr. Fantasticsmag has a new, improved layout, but why do they need the interface-explanation hover text ("click to view next page") which appears when you hover over the text GO NEXT? Their old RSS feeds are broken, but if you add the new one from their home page it works. Edited and uploaded photos to Flickr. Nap. Dinner at home with Patrick: pig stir fry with noodles. Watched Mamma Mia on DVD at psychobauble and Nate's with psychobauble, Nate, Patrick. The film was rather disappointing, but the movie environment they created with a new, large plasma TV is very nice. Put old computer equipment for sale online.

Sun 11

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Tweaked Songbird add-ons—disabled some, installed some new ones. Had trouble sleeping last night, so I took a nap. Lunch at home with Patrick: leftover stir fry. Visited the California Palace of the Legion of Honor with Patrick. Afterwards we got ran errands in Cole Valley and got drinks at Tully's there. Patrick read from Michael Chabon's Gentlemen of the Road, and I read the dead tree version of The Onion. Home. Downloaded photos. Dealt with postings and responses to the old computer equipment and other things of which I'm getting rid. Edited photos. Added more info to my LinkedIn profile. Yoga stretches. Dinner at home with Patrick: yellow curry chicken over steamed rice. Watched Heroes season 3 episode 12 (Our Father) on Netflix instant watch with Patrick. Stretches. Weight training: advanced plank (5:00), superslow dumbbell press, superslow dumbbell fly. Late meal: cherry yogurt, V8 juice, hot nonfat milk, leftovers from dinner. Practiced new napkin folds from The Best Napkin Folding Book Ever! (John and Stephanie Stislow): country club, fancy fish, square knot. So far square knot is the hardest, and I like it the best.

Mon 12

Breakfast: cereal with nonfat milk. Today was Shirin's first day at work. Cindy brought bagels, cream cheese, and orange juice. Introduced Shirin to her computer and password databases. Began testing the new wireless network. 1-on-1 meeting with Susie. Web team meeting with Eric D and Susie. Napkin folding: fortune cookie. Dinner at home with Patrick: coconut fried chicken, corn off the cob, rice pilaf. Uploaded photos to Flickr. Stretches. Weight training: advanced plank (3:00), advanced side plank (2:00 each side). Stretches.

Tue 13

Breakfast: Patrick decided to use some bananas before they went bad and made banana pancakes with freshly squeezed orange juice. Focus group followup. Sent a correction for UCSF Today to pubaff. Met briefly with Shirin to set up voicemail and train her on using the phone. Strategic plan followup with Susie. Submitted a campus calendar item for student SN (Red Dress Fashion Show). Followup with Cesar on computer setup for Shirin. Shirin e-mail setup followup and notification. More new wireless network testing and feedback. Emergency space planning meeting with Eric D, Sue, Susie, Shannon, and 3 space planner people: 1 from facilities and 2 designers. More wireless network testing and feedback. Chatted with student NS about Mr. Pharmacy. Dinner at home with Patrick: baked chicken, cous cous, steamed peas. Watched Edward Scissorhands (1990) on Netflix DVD with Patrick. Belkin's US website no longer seems to have uninterruptible power supplies (UPSes). (I needed to recommend a backup power supply to someone and checked their website based on my notes from January 19, 2008.) I guess Belkin doesn't make UPS units anymore. Recommended APC instead. I've always hated Belkin's website, anyway. It's often hard to use, and Belkin is not really focused on a great user experience on the web. For a quick OMG, check out their [contact us page][link defunct: http://www.belkin.com/contactus/index.asp]. Which is unfortunate, because Belkin makes a lot of well-designed and always visually beautiful products. The only company to have created a surge protector that left me breathless upon viewing it. Read Peter Bright's Ars Technica review of Windows 7, which is currently in public beta. I laughed when I read, "Microsoft has finally decided that it would be a good idea to have keyboard shortcuts to minimize and maximize windows. No more alt+space, N or alt+space, X menu-based shenanigans—we now have Win+Up Arrow to maximize, Win+Down Arrow to restore or minimize. This is a window management godsend." LOL! How many years from now will we be able to say "Apple has finally decided that it would be a good idea to have keyboard shortcuts to minimize and maximize windows"? We're at 24 years and counting, Apple. If only I could have even the troublesome keyboard shortcuts to minimize and maximize windows in OS X! Oh, for the ability to resize windows in OS X from any edge using either the keyboard or the mouse (like Windows has had for the past 22 years [I believe])! Windows 7 has some nice features that I'm looking forward to, but some do indeed seem simply copied from OS X. And "window management godsend" is a bit strong, I think, and I'm not even an atheist. I'd guess that 99.999% of Windows users don't even know what Alt+Space followed by N does, so although I don't really care that Win+UpArrow and Win+DownArrow now do certain things, I think it's only happenstance that the person reviewing is someone who uses keyboard shortcuts and cares about these new shortcuts. Alt+Space followed by N is more efficient than Win+DownArrow anyhow since your fingers don't need to leave the home row. It doesn't hurt that Microsoft added Win+DownArrow to do the same thing, but it doesn't help very much unless you have an accessibility concern and you spend a lot of your time minimizing and maximizing windows. I'll stick with my more efficient "shenanigans," thank you, Peter Bright. Stretches. Weight training: advanced plank (3:00), advanced side plank (2:00 each side). Stretches.

Wed 14

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Answered some questions for Shirin about computer setup, chatted briefly with Cesar in person. Helped student CT with a question about email. Hiring followup. Focus group followup. Coded calendar and news for the forthcoming Red Dress Fashion Show event. Asked Jann F when we can work with the MyAccess team to hook up our apps to it. Helped student AL with mailbox too full. Calendar maintenance. Lunch: burrito #4 from Carmelina's. Met 1-on-1 with Cindy. Answered a question about wireless for Chris. Contributed some discussion to the UCSF Communicators group. Chatted briefly with Cesar on the phone. Created 3 tickets for OAAIS DLS (Cesar). Rebecca, Scott E, and I fixed a problem with the water cooler. Lots of cleaning up of old email messages. UCSF comm maintenance. 17 items in my inbox—how did I do it? I don't know.

Thu 15

Usual oatmeal breakfast, hot nonfat milk. Forwarded a fellowship opportunity from Peter A to the 4th-year students. Lunch with Patrick at Ten Restaurant: fish katsu lunch box for him, chicken teriyaki lunch box for me. Computer training and setup for Shirin. cdrom duplication work. UCSF comm maintenance. Dinner at home by myself: I took leftover stir-fried noodles with shrimp and added some boiled dumplings. Craigslist sales maintenance.

Fri 16

Weight training: advanced plank (5:00). Usual oatmeal breakfast. Meeting mixup, chatted with Kathleen and Susie. Consultants meeting. Lunch: panda express. Watched video demos of Dabble DB and Zoho DB, was more impressed with Dabble DB than Zoho DB. Management and hiring work. 1-on-1 meeting with Eric D. He introduced me to Microsoft Songsmith via the demo video on YouTube, and I thought it was a spoof at first. Scary to think that it's a real product—it looks so cheesy! He hadn't seen "Microsoft redesigns the iPod 2005 package" so afterwards we watched and laughed at that. Picked up the job postings form project again. UCSF comm discussions. To home. Snack: 3 nonfat fig newton cookies. Dinner at home with Patrick: hawaiian pizza, V8 juice, hot ginger tea with local honey. Spent some time getting to know mint.com. Weight training: various upper body. Stretches. Late meal: hot nonfat milk, lowfat cherry yogurt, 2 nonfat fig newton cookies, chunky soup, hot ginger tea.

Sat 17

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Sometimes my Apple wired mouse incorrectly detects a left mouse click as a right mouse click. Doesn't happen too often, but it does happen maybe a few times per month. Sat in the sun in the back yard and ate lunch: sandwich and tortilla chips. Sold a graphics card to a craigslist buyer. Dinner with Patrick at La Mediterranee: pomegranate chicken for each of us. Sandra Bernhard's "Without You I'm Nothing"—loved it. She performed 4 numbers from 1988's "Without You I'm Nothing" (Childhood Reminiscences, Me & Mrs. Jones, Mighty Real, and Little Red Corvette) interspersed with new material and songs. Stretches. Weight training: advanced side plank (2:00 each side), advanced plank (3:00). Stretches.

Sun 18

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Sat in the sun in the back yard and ate lunch: sandwich and tortilla chips. Sold a DVDRW drive to a craigslist buyer. Nap. Dinner at home with psychobauble and Nate. Patrick prepared herbed green salad, warm foccacia, spaghetti and meatballs. For dessert, they brought a very moist carrot cake. After they left, Patrick and I watched Twilight Zone "To Serve Man" on cbs.com, which then reminded us of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror "Hungry are the Damned" which we attempted to watch on wtso.net but the video quality was terrible. I searched YouTube and found a version that had much better video quality but worse audio quality. The overall result was much more watchable than wtso, so we watched that.

Mon 19

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Drove to psychobauble and Nate's. On the way I listened to NPR playing MLK Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech—so moving. Lunch with psychobauble, Nate, and Patrick at Soluna Cafe (415-621-2200, 272 McAllister Street at Larkin, San Francisco, California, USA 94102). BBQ pork sliders for me, chicken cobb salad for Patrick. I forgot what p & N ate. Food was tasty. Service was very good. Nate went home to rest. Union Square clothes and shoe shopping with psychobauble and Patrick. Found nice $10 silk ties at Zara. Late afternoon meal in the Westfield food court: turkey wrap and vitamin water for me, clam chowder bread bowl and vitamin water for Patrick, vanilla cream puff for psychobauble. Home. Weight training: advanced plank, side plank. Stretches.

Tue 20

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Practiced a new napkin fold: tropical butterfly. This one is my favorite in this book so far. Walked more than halfway to work because Muni was not on schedule. Chatted with student HK on the way in. Focus group meeting with Kathleen C and students MAM, VL, DL, SK, SM. My meeting was from 11:30 to 1:00, and I thought the inauguration was going to be at noon, so I didn't try to watch it, but during a late lunch of pizza left over from the meeting I read about it on the web. Spent time before and after that meeting on the job postings form. All the form work is finally done and tested. Now I need to hook it up to the listserv and do another round of testing before I let Eric V try it out. Inauguration party at psychobauble and Nate's with psychobauble, Nate, Drew, Danny, Phil, Paul, David M, Bart. Home. Stretches. Weight training: advanced plank, side plank. Stretches.

Wed 21

Here's an OS X tip that I figured out on my own, and I don't know if it's documented anywhere else. How to see 2 kinds of dock icons at once in Apple Activity Monitor: I like having Activity Monitor running, and I like its feature of its dock icon showing information. (Right-click its dock icon then select Dock Icon if you're not familiar with this.) However, I want to see CPU History as well as Memory Usage because to me both are important to tell you what's going on with the computer at the very moment. At a glance, you can tell if the computer is processing data or if it might be swapping page files or if it's locked up tight in a crash. Seeing this data can often help me understand whether I should, for example, continue waiting for the beach ball of death or any other seemingly stalled activity. Activity Monitor only lets you see one thing in the dock icon, but here's how to see two instead of one.

  1. Start Activity Monitor.
  2. Set its dock icon to one kind of data output (you choose).
  3. Minimize Activity Monitor.
  4. Activity Monitor appears as a minimized application icon next to the Trash.
  5. Right-click the original Activity Monitor dock icon and set it to a different kind of data output.

Voila! Now you can see two kinds of Activity Monitor data at once. The one in the minimized icon is considerably smaller, so I like having that one show Memory Usage and the original Activity Monitor icon show CPU History. Yes you can get separate dashboardlike utilities which show you a lot more information but at a cost of an extra process running on your system and taking up memory and probably more processor time than Activity Monitor.—Edits for Danny's website: added Josh E's reception. Stretches. Weight training: push-up, superslow dumbbell fly. Stretches. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Patrick and I watched Obama's speech from yesterday. Computer technology support task force meeting. Job postings project. Small web edits for Cindy. Attended a webinar by information technology people at UC Davis which described how they migrated all their students from Geckomail to Gmail. I will probably talk more about this another day. Dinner at home with Patrick: cow ravioli and meatball in Patrick's homemade spaghetti sauce. Shopped online.

Thu 22

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Weight training: advanced plank (5:00). To work. A fan in my Mac Pro at work began making unusual noises today. It variously spins up, shuts off, and sometimes buzzes annoyingly like an insect. There's even an identifiable but inconsistent cycle to the volume and tonal pattern of its new hum. I recently vacuumed the computer's exterior, so I know surface dust isn't a factor, but I might need to open it up and examine it. I just don't have time right now. Listserv maintenance. Cleaned out old email messages I no longer needed. Small web edits: Outlook setup instructions, graduation regalia form, request a speaker. Followup on a student's question about email and Moodle/CLE. After listening very closely to the Mac Pro, I believe the problem lies with the fan for the ATI graphics card. Deleted an OST file because Outlook told me to do so. Management work. Reported web problems to Public Affairs. Organized papers for CTS. Helped student DL set up Outlook and gave tips on anti-virus and anti-spyware. Redirected student IG to Rodney for help with Lexi Comp. More management work. Checked in with Eric D on projects. He showed me his progress on the digital asset library we're building using Montala ResourceSpace. It's newly set up and running internally. The screens are very pretty, and the interface seems pretty intuitive. Followup with Jann F about hooking our apps to MyAccess. Another problem report for Public Affairs. (Eric V found this one.) Asked Rebecca N to turn on RSS for the CSC listserv. Confirmed that we have a Flickr group and new listserv ready for one of our student organizations. Asked Susie to review my setup for listservs which we'll use to communicate to website owners and coders in the School of Pharmacy. I think one of my users has a full inbox—will need to troubleshoot tomorrow. Something weird today: when in certain applications, I see "Save Files Attached to Entoura..." followed by a spinning "busy" icon and a red stop sign. I see this when any of the following applications have focus: Finder, TextEdit, Activity Monitor, VLC, My Day. I don't see it when these applications have focus: VMware Fusion, Entourage, Adium. Relaunching Finder did not fix the problem. I closed all my open applications planning to restart the computer and eventually underneath a lot of windows I found a small window that had something to do with saving all attachments (or something like that). Once I canceled it, the problem went away. I don't know how it got there. In the afternoon, I started receiving air through my ceiliing vent. It had been off all morning, and it's normal for this air flow to exist or not exist, typically on the whim of construction crews doing work elsewhere in the building. It's not worth complaining about, and if I need fresher air, I just prop my door open with a waste bin. However, the air flow also brings with it its own white noise, and I'm wondering now if the ATI graphics card fan has been humming strangely for longer than just this morning. Discovered that I reached my quota with Mozy, so I reconfigured it to back up less data. Installed Workrave for Shirin. Organized my meatspace desktop. Dinner by myself at Bistro 9: rotisserie chicken, cous cous, french fries, hot water: $14.39 after a $3 tip. Service was very good, food was very good except that the chicken was strangely dry even though it had a good texture throughout. The bread coating was particularly tasty, and very good flavor combinations in the cous cous. I liked the rosemary sprig accent poked into the chicken straight up. One touch that makes Bistro 9 stand out for me: starter baguette is pre-sliced and served super hot. Too full for dessert. Finally figured out how to remove the f: drive on my PQI i-Stick—Dr. UFD, I couldn't've done it without you! Discovered polyvore via omiru.

Fri 23

Patrick got food poisoning somehow. He's 99.9% certain that it was from a chicken burger at Daly City Burgermeister, where he ate lunch with Sam on Thursday. He started getting symptoms Thursday night around 10:30 PM. He stayed home all day in bed resting and drinking water and ginger tea. Sophos installer communications review for OAAIS and SCWG. Online supp app meeting. Communications review for OAAIS regarding old Sophos installers no longer working. Confirmed Flickr group and listserv setup for a student organization for Cindy. Management work. Web hosting payment activities. More communications review for OAAIS regarding old Sophos installers no longer working. Job posting form work. Dinner at home: mixed organic greens salad with green goddess dressing. Dessert: root beer ice cream bar. Weight training: advanced side plank (2:00 each side), advanced plank (3:00).

Sat 24

Breakfast at home with Patrick: cream of wheat. Patrick got a pretty solid night of sleep and is feeling much better than yesterday. Unable to log in to vimeo. Nap. Cut my hair, showered. Dinner at home with Patrick: grilled chicken salad, dinner roll, Smart Balance Light. Watched Heroes season 3 "The Duel" on Netflix instant watch with Patrick. When I went to bed my stomach didn't feel right and around 1:00 AM I was looking at my digested dinner. We're still not sure how I got sick, and I have given up trying to figure out a distinct cause.

Sun 25

Hot water for breakfast. Watched Word Wars (2004) on Netflix instant watch with Patrick. Ginger tea, ibuprofen. Word Wars was very well done. It's below my 7.2 threshold, but I really liked it. Watered-down Gatorade. Nap. Lunch with Patrick: vegetable biryani, watered-down Gatorade. Watched Young Frankenstein (1974) on Netflix instant watch with Patrick. Watched Miles Davis: Cool Jazz Sound and Swing Era: Count Basie on Netflix instant watch by myself. Watched Enchanted (2007) on Netflix instant watch with Patrick. (Can you spot the 2 occurrences of subtle homophobia in this Disney film?) Dinner at home with Patrick: steamed dumplings, hot water.

Mon 26

Phone meeting with Susie: management activities. Installed QuickTime 7.6. Installed Flickr Uploadr 3.1.3 for OS X at work. Finally Uploadr handles videos! Haven't tried it yet—just read the update notes. UCSF Communicators group work. Lunch: to go from Panda Express: beef with broccoli, sweet and sour pork, chow mein. More stylesheet work for BTS website: print stylesheets. Web team meeting at Laurel Heights with Eric D and Susie. Back to Parnassus, dropped off a laptop for Eric D. On the way home I found evidence that NextBus does not use GPS for Route 66: the bus driver left 9th and Judah at 6:07, which is 3 minutes early from the schedule. Not only did I observe the digital clock inside the bus say 6:07, but on the next 2 stops on 9th Avenue I saw the bus shelter digital signs say that Bus 66 was arriving in 2 minutes. This only confirms what I had felt before—that NextBus is not always accurate and cannot be trusted. Found Patrick napping. Wasted time on the internet. I cooked dinner at home with Patrick: mushroom ravioli with broccoli in marinara sauce. Worked on Danny's website: name change. Closed my account with monster.com because I recently learned of their poor information security practices (from slashdot). Did some internet research on Lifewave only because Tina's current interest had introduced her to it and has a stake in it and I am quite dubious about the product's claims. Installed Flickr Uploadr 3.1.3 for OS X at home. Uploaded a partial set of photos to Flickr. Stomach hurt again a little late this evening, but luckily no symptoms worse than that.

Tue 27

Usual oatmeal breakfast. Answered a question about computer viruses from student DM. Redirected a Lexi Comp installation question from student GG to Rodney. Reviewed PST file migration with Cesar. We decided that I don't need to move my Microsoft Entourage profile database to the network to take advantage of offsite backup since I'm covered by both Time Machine and Mozy and because they have experienced network speed issues when doing so with other people in the past. Mailing list setup for Cindy. Photo sheet creation for Cindy. Headshot photos corralling. Helped student NS figure out how to mail all dental students. Mailing list management. Helped student SK with IP address conflict error message. Followed along with Eric D as he worked through a libmcrypt installation and PHP recompile. Lunch: Subway sandwich, a nonfat almond Palio latte. Read parts of Keir Thomas' free Ubuntu Pocket Guide & Reference PDF. Computer optimization and iPod Moodle/CLE podcast synchronization problems for student EG. Began typing up my notes from the UC Davis Gmail migration webinar. Late snack: popcorn.

Wed 28

A few days ago we started to realize that the unpleasant stomach symptoms that Patrick experienced on Thursday night and that I experienced on Saturday night might actually be somewhat of an epidemic of stomach flu in San Francisco. After I returned to work on Monday, Scott E told me that his girlfriend had something similar over the weekend. And now Eric V seems to be ill with the same kind of thing. Had a really hard time getting to sleep last night. Just didn't get tired enough to fall asleep, and it lasted for hours. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Met with Susie. Thought I had a meeting at 11 but no one was there. I return and check my calendar—yes I had the correct room and the correct time. What's going on is that these meetings have been getting rescheduled, and I sometimes don't receive notice of the updates for some reason. I think Entourage 2008 working with Exchange Server 2003 is the problem somehow, but I cannot prove it directly. That Entourage 2008 crashes whenever I create any recurring appointment should be a big clue. (It has behaved this way for me ever since Office 2008 was released.) Restored my access to OLPPS by calling the OAAIS helpdesk and resetting my password. Granted Shirin cardkey access to rooms. Listserv management. Scanned picturebook photos for Cindy, inserted them into a document. Prepared and populated new listservs, announced. Eric D and I chatted with Joe P about LDAP, and John K later called us back with other suggestions. Helped student JN with mailbox too full. Web edits and styling for BTS. Lunch at desk: leftovers. Chatted with Sak about the printer which broke again in exactly the same way before. He says he won't charge us this time. Email management. Job postings form work: figured out that it really is reCAPTCHA which is causing a very long (several minutes) delay when submitting my form. I reported the problem to them and they said it was a DNS problem that was not on their end, so I submitted tickets to our webhost and to OAAIS for investigation and resolution. Finally feeling fully recovered from the stomach flu. Dinner at home with Patrick: chicken and noodles stir-fry with bbq pork. Dessert: blackberry sorbet, cactus pear sorbet. Organized music collection metadata with Songbird and the Metadata Tools add-on. Edited photos in Photoshop. Uploaded photos to Flickr. Began reviewing the botched data restore of Flickr photos from my Flickr account using FlickrEdit following the most recent hard drive crash. Late meal: one white nectarine, leftover sandwich, Yalumba muscat.

Thu 29

Breakfast: English muffin, Smart Balance Light, Lipton tea. Cardkey followup with Terence BS. Updated Google document: web to do list. Conference call meeting with Susie and a vendor. Midmorning breakfast in the cafeteria. Clinical Pharmacy faculty meeting. Midafternoon snack: toasted raisin bagel and cream cheese from the cafeteria. School of Pharmacy faculty meeting. Pulled the last of our archived data off of Public Affairs' servers, then deleted everything. Dinner at home with Patrick: lasagne, steamed broccoli, starfish roll, hot water. Paid bills. Troubleshot 2 difficult computer problems. The first was that sound stopped working in Windows Vista in VMware Fusion. After trying many things and failing, restarting the VM fixed it. The second difficult problem was that on Patrick's Windows XP computer when he visited his MySpace page the music player that normally appears on his profile page was replaced by a button that said Get Adobe Flash Player. Problem happened even if he reinstalled the latest Flash Player. Problem happened even if AdBlock was disabled. Problem did not happen in IE. Problem happened in Firefox even when logged in as another user. I checked the iMac—it did not exhibit the problem, and the music player appeared as expected. Then I checked VMware Fusion on the iMac. It was running Vista and to my surprise I saw the problem there as well! Reinstalling with the latest Flash Player fixed it for that case. After another hour or so troubleshooting on Patrick's computer I realized that he was using AdBlock and my other computers were using AdBlock Plus. Once I uninstalled AdBlock and installed AdBlock Plus the problem was solved. Weird that simply disabling AdBlock did not make the problem go away—you have to uninstall it completely. So to recap: to resolve this problem, you need to uninstall Adblock, install Adblock Plus instead, and possibly reinstall Flash. Shower. Late snack: leftovers, hot water. Shared my OPML file of Sage feeds with Patrick. He's slowly getting up to speed with RSS.

Fri 30

Usual oatmeal breakfast. To work. Minor web update for Cindy. Listserv management. Redirected a Lexi Comp question to Rodney. More job postings form and DNS troubleshooting. Sent a room reservation request to Kim B. Asked Public Affairs to start linking to Joel's blog. Calendar management. Posted spring draft schedules for Lucia. Management work. Notified staff about a student's legal name change, reviewed notes about OAR now being responsible for such students' email address changes. Lunch: fish and chips from the cafeteria. Continued editing the privacy section of our website. Dinner at Poc Chuc with Patrick, psychobauble, Nate. Service at about 7 PM was very, very slow, but when the food arrived was delicious and generously portioned for the price.

Sat 31

Woke early. Usual oatmeal breakfast. Midmorning breakfast: 2 hash browns, 2 eggs scrambled with spinach, 1 english muffin with Smart Balance Light, 2 sausage links. Helped psychobauble and Nate with some new apartment setup and decorating. Errands with them: Goodwill dropoff, hardware store, Tap Plastics, Dainese store. The Dainese store was a pleasure to visit. It has a very large selection of motorcycle jackets and other cycling gear. The store seems to have been designed with simplicity and quality in mind. Lots of stuff was on sale, but we didn't buy anything. We got sandwiches at a nearby deli and ate them at their place. Home. Nap. Dinner at home with Patrick: pizza, hot water. House chores. wzrdofaus's party, where we chatted mostly with Kirk and Dave. Late meal with Patrick at King of Thai Noodle.