America Offline

I have an America Online account so that I can check to ensure that the email client operates properly with various mailing lists I maintain.

Yesterday I got a report from a user that they were having difficulty using AOL’s latest version, the much-touted “version 7.0,” with one of our sites, so I upgraded my own computer to this version so I could try to duplicate their woes.

This was a mistake.

Upgrading (if you can call it that) to this version of AOL installed all manner of crap on my computer, rendered Windows file sharing inoperable, and caused my Internet Explorer to think that it should dial out to AOL every time I clicked on a link (even though I’d configured AOL to know about my broadband connection).

I uninstalled everything to do with AOL to try and solve the problem, and this solved everything but the file sharing problem, which was only solved once I disabled the faux network adapter that AOL installs to let you use their service over an existing Internet connection.


Thinking outside the box

Some of the minimum qualifications for work as a flight attendant for JetBlue:

  • Willing to think outside the box to find a way to say “YES” to our internal and external customers.
  • Willing to be away from home 3-5 nights in a row.
  • No visible tattoos.
  • Maintain a neat and professional appearance.
  • Needs to pass a 10 year security background check and a drug test.
I would think that someone with skills and experience in the first two would probably not qualify for the last three.

Post-apocalyptic computing

I imagine that if I survive the apocalypse, the nature of my existence will mirror the room where I type this note: I am locked inside a small, windowsless room filled with computers and air cleaners in the bowels of the agriculture research station in Charlottetown. Everything is covered with a fine white dust. I can access my website, but only through a 7 year-old text-only web browser called Lynx. The phones still work, but for how long? I’m trying to access the central computer, but I need a newer version of SSH to do that, and I can only get through to Finland sporadically. The hum, the hum, the hum of the air cleaners is driving me insane. Will I see my family again?

Type Auction

We travelled out to the underwater republic of Mount Stewart on Sunday to attend our first auction of the season. Gerald Giampa and his family were auctioning off what appeared to be pretty well everything they owned.

Gerald is the owner of the Lanston Type Library and you can read his story here. I’m not sure what fate awaits the family (or the type archive), as they were auctioning off the fridge, the stove and the oregano, so it looks they’re moving away, or at the very least rejecting materialism and seasoning.

So there I was, standing in a couple of inches of red mud in the middle of a crowd of some 200 people at the auction, waiting for the fun stuff to come around for bidding, when who should I see across the field but Ernest Hemingway.

Given the literary nature of the auction (half the audience was there for the belt sanders; the other half for the limited edition chap books), Hemingway’s appearance wasn’t unexpected. There is, however, the matter of his death to contend with.

We left shortly thereafter, and returned home, without french fries (to Catherine’s chagrin) and life has been normal since.