Geez, I guess I need to add it to my calendar to write a blog on a regular basis. I am sorry I haven't been keeping this up. Ok… on with the show.
First, I need to tell you all that being sick does not bode well for me. I caught a nasty head cold from a co-worker, and to be nice, I have thus shared it with my children (sorry kiddos). Anywho, My head cold allowed me to catch a bacterial infection in my tonsils that spread out and gave me swimmer's ear, figure that one out. So, after a doctor's visit, I got a shot of antibiotics and a prescription for azythromycin and I seem to be healing well. This nice setup allows me to share something about Emery, for her Emeryisms are always a joy.
Last night, she was coughing very badly, so we gave her some cold medicine and a little cough suppressant. I also gave her a Hall's cough drop. Those aren't the best things flavor wise, but it was ok. She sucked on it and it helped her coughing a little bit, but after a while it was time for bed. She still hadn't finished the cough drop by the time we got her all tucked in, so I told her to just chew it up like she does with a candy. After she finished chewing and swallowing it, she said, "Ugh, that tasted like candy bucker!" I don't know what "Candy Bucker" is, but I think I can guess that's it's a really gross thing by the way she said it. We love her Emeryisms!
So, we are all dealing with this cold, except for Kristin. She is fit as a fiddle (and I'm currently knocking on wood, because I don't want her to get sick). Little Ashlynn got a cold a while back, so she's not dealing with this one. It's a doozy. I can't hear and my throat was very raw until I got the antibodies in my system… I pray you don't get it by reading this.
So, a few weeks ago, we had to buy a new computer. I haven't bought a new computer in years (6 years to be exact), so when our PC finally died, I was at a standstill and had no choice. I bought an AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ with 2 GIGs of RAM. It's a decent PC and we got all the parts on sale (it only cost us $300). That was exciting enough, but I couldn't believe how little of a gain it really was over the Athlon XP 2700+ I had in there. So, yes, I have to admit that games seem to run a bit better, but it pretty much everything else runs about the same. I got thinking about it and I compared it's functionality to my work computer (a HP Server with dual Intel Xeon 5140s – 4 cores at 2.5GHz) and realized that my work computer doesn't really run that differently than my old 2700+. With the quad cores, my work computer has the bandwidth to do more at once, but what it does is still excecuted at about the same speed…. so I don't know what all the fuss is about the newest and most awesome processors.
I went to Tom's Hardware and compared CPUs across the board and noticed that for a patient person like myself, there really isn't much of a difference between the $1000 top of the line processor and the $85 processor I bought. I mean I can save myself a full minute encoding a CD or I can run my Quake at 150 frames per second if I forked out the extra dough, but as it is, I lose a minute ripping a 65 minute CD and my Quake only runs at 87 frames per second… but then again the human eye doesn't recognize differences above 30 frames per second (which is why NTSC runs at 29.97 fps). So what am I really losing?
On a different note, I learned about QEMU this weekend and found out a really easy way to get a portable embedded Client. My search all started about a month ago when I learned about the Realm Blackdog (www.projectblackdog.com). A bunch of people I work with used to work for Realm Systems, and they created this interesting device that is a USB Computer… I mean full computer with 64 MB ram and a 400MHz PPC processor. So, you plug this thing into your computer and it hijacks the keyboard, mouse and display, but runs applications through it's own processor and since it is a computer, it is totally secure with certificates, biometrics and such that even key loggers on the main computer cannot trap info on the Blackdog.
Well, about a month ago, I got a blackdog and have been fiddling around with it. it broke, so I was at a standstill – but found that DSL (www.damnsmalllinux.org) has an embedded version that launches from pen drive. I did some digging and found out that they use QEMU to emulate the machine for DSL. QEMU is a virtual machine environment similar to VMWare that allows you to run whatever OS you would like from any medium. I have installed Ubuntu Linux and CentOS on a USB hard drive and my Ipod… so look for how to's in the Computers section of my site.
So, that's the story of my recent geekiness. Next entry will be less geeky. Thanks for reading and we'll have a new "Ask The Mask" tomorrow! Woo!