July 2006
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Day July 28, 2006

Ubuntu 6.06 running on the Macbook Pro

Thanks to the terrific folks at Parallels, I now have three operating systems running on my Macbook Pro:  OS X, Windows XP Pro SP2, and the "Dapper Drake" release of Ubuntu Linux (6.06).  The latter gives me a full Linux development environment running right on the laptop.  Not that developing in OS X was that different, but after 14 years of working on Linux systems, I just feel comfortable there.  Right now, my base Linux VM is running a "desktop" installation of Ubuntu/Dapper, and I’ll probably put together a server VM for testing as well.

The work begins…

I’ve been fairly quiet this week because it’s been pretty busy working on the new house.
After a very hot and uncomfortable weekend in Seattle, I flew back up on Monday to meet the appliance delivery and installation folks from Almvig’s.  They installed my new stove, the Wolf 30 inch dual-fuel range, the Fisher-Paykel DishDrawers (which I highly recommend), a Fisher-Paykel refrigerator, and stackable washer-dryer set with more functionality than the average computer. Dsc_0009

My elliptical trainer and weight set came from Precor as well this week, so I can get a good exercise session without leaving the house.  This isn’t so important now, but given my usual ability to talk myself out of things, when it gets grey and rainy this will be essential.  I also joined San Juan Fitness in Friday Harbor which has a very nice gym as well, and I switched my WAC membership to non-resident.  I can still use the club while in Seattle, but since I’m not around much the dues are lower.

DirecTV was supposed to be out here again on Monday, but this got pushed out until Wednesday afternoon.  The result, however, is good.  The service is great, and there’s more channels than I have any idea what to do with.  The only downside is that DirecTV has switched from Tivo to their own DVR, which (to put it politely) sucks.  This thing has all the normal Tivo functionality, but buried in menus which stack two or three deep, with tabbed dialogs (which work with a mouse but NOT an arrow keypad, guys!) and tons of keypadding to get to any specific option.  It takes several minutes to subscribe to what Tivo called a "season pass."  So I’m not thrilled with the technology but if your keypad thumb is strong it does what you need. 

Dsc_0002

My contractor, Bobby Ross Construction, has been doing a great job this week.  The electrical work got started, a door got framed in between the media room and the bathroom (which used to be a weirdly laid-out master suite), painting began, and the deck was extended to the side, to meet up with the side of the house and the little "cabana" I’ve turned into a deck room & gym.  The new deck is sweet, as you can see from this picture. 

Next week I’ll be down in Seattle for a few days,Dsc_0021 preparing for the actual move, which happens the week after next.  It’ll be good to have furniture, but it’s also really handy to be able to work on an empty house.  At the moment I’m pretty much living on the deck and using deck furniture for everything.  Which, given the weather, suits me fine.

Internet access has been terrific, with the Canopy wireless 900MHz service from Rock Island Internet.  I’ve got a radio & antenna mounted on the edge of the roof on the west corner of the deck, pointed at the towers on Mt. Constitution, over on Orcas Island.  I get somewhere around 2.8 – 3.0Mbits/sec down, and around 700-800Kbits/sec up, which is quite good.  Mike Greene and I have been trying to figure out a weird pattern, where I lose RF signal lock during sunset, probably because of reflection and multipath issues off glass and water.  But he and his staff are great, and I’m a very happy
customer. 

I’m slowly getting myself free to get back to other projects.  I expect to go back soon to posting on my usual topics and back to a regular reading pace.  My reading list is up-to-date in the left hand margin, but it’s been slow going these last couple of weeks.   

I’ve been taking a fair number of pictures as well, especially after getting a different lens for the Nikon.  The top picture in this post is a nice one, taken last night at sunset, looking from the southeast at the NE tip of San Juan Island, the SE tip of Spieden Island, with the looming bulk of Saturna Island in the background.  I’ll have more pictures up at Flickr this weekend.