. . . vs those that are paid to pretend they are geeks.

I’m currently living this experience as well. A friend of mine is having me re-do much of her home theater system. Problems included:

  1. DVD Player connected to HD TV via in-wall composite video cable (think “yellow RCA connector”). Yuck! Related to this. . .
  2. There was no other high-quality cable run through the wall (no HDMI, no Component).
  3. Center Channel appears to be routed into the right speaker. And vice-versa.

She was going to be charged $300 by a local installer to run a component video cable run through her wall. Instead, I convinced her to spend that $300 on a blu-ray player (when in doubt, upgrade!), $40 on a monoprice HDMI switch, and then just use the HDMI run for her DirecTV box to watch both the DirecTV and Blu-Ray. We got the stuff installed and she’s thrilled with the picture quality (as you’d expect since her frame of reference was DVD over composite).

Still haven’t had a chance to swap the speaker wires in the back of her receiver though. Should be quick and easy. But I only noticed the problem on my way out the door and scheduling a follow-up visit has been an issue.

But where was I? Oh yeah, Best Buy’s Geek Squad will charge you $325 to just mangle things.

The ironic part is that she has thanked me for my help by generously giving me a Best Buy card!


Had it really been (well) over a year since I last posted here? I suppose everyone has moved on by now. But let’s see what happens if I start posting again.

I spent the day working on the back-end. Updating things, cleaning up, and getting things ready for super-duper-full-on-post-a-matic-ness. So. . . there’s that.


In the hopes that this might be picked up by Google and help someone else out there. . .

I run a Fedora Core 5 (FC5) server at work. I’m in the process of migrating things to a new server that will be Fedora 7 (no longer called “core”).

We make use of Tomcat for java applications. However, upon installing Tomcat in the exact same way for Fedora 7 as I did for FC5, all I would see when trying to view my Tomcat server’s web pages were (totally) blank pages.

To replicate the problem (then the solution). . .

Install Java according to these instructions (though use the JDK instead): Link.

Install Tomcat like so:

>yum install tomcat5 tomcat5-webapps tomcat5-admin-webapps

Start the tomcat service (it should be available under the services GUI now. . . if not, restart the server).

Now, you too should be getting blank pages when you try to view http://localhost:8080

I had seen several reports that the F7 and FC6 default installations of tomcat were “bad” or “non-functional.” At that point, everyone appears to just give up. No solutions seem available out there other than to download the application from Jakarta and install it manually.

Here’s an easier “fix.” Though, I don’t know if this might be a bad idea.

The problem appears to be that Tomcat no longer likes the default installation of Java on FC6 or F7. Further, it won’t listen to you if you try to change JAVA_HOME via the /etc/tomcat5/tomcat5.conf file.

This is (apparently) because the /etc/tomcat5/tomcat5.conf file (where you’d think you should go!) is overridden by the /etc/sysconfig/tomcat5.conf file. So, make the change there, and all should work again.

For example. . . in /etc/sysconfig/tomcat5.conf, I made it:


All now works!


Well, it had only been four years!

I was cleaning out a closet the other day, and was surprised to find many of the innards for my old PII 450 machine (c. 1998). All I needed to resurrect it was a power supply and a hard drive. $70 and two days later (I love newegg), I had her up and running.

This, of course, provided me with a new ISA-slot-equipped home for my Roland LAPC-1 and Roland SCC-1 MIDI cards. So, I took this opportunity to make some recordings and update the Ultima Digital Music Archive (UDMA) with an entry for Ultima Online.

At some point, I do hope to upload some recordings from Ultima Underworld as well as Ultima VIII: Pagan (game was terrible. But music was great!).

Yes, the UDMA is still there. On the right under “Defunct Geekery.”

No, my wife doesn’t understand. Bless her.


Then again, as I’ve ranted before, Lucas already did enough damage to the Indiana Jones franchise with the third movie (I’ve since been convinced that Temple of Doom isn’t all that bad while simultaneously becoming even more obstinate in my view that The Last Crusade is pure rubbish).

Anyway, my point: It’s now official that Indiana Jones IV is underway. Here’s my favorite snippet:

The films are among the most popular films ever made and have become a legendary part of film history.

Only one of those films, of course, was actually deserving of such accolades and adoration. The latter two (especially the last) were just trading on the excellence of the first.

As just some poor schmo with no background in film making and/or screenwriting, I realize it’s lame to bash films so vociferously on my own quaint little blog. But The Last Crusade is just so utterly awful and out of step with the characters, themes, and tone of the original Raiders, that I just can’t contain myself.