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Diary, January 1996

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Tuesday, January 2, 1996

A Happy New Year to every body.

I found (another) `thought of today' page. (3/14/96: link broken?) Submit it if you want to submit your page. And I found another diary on the net. It is by Sabina.

How dreadful, if suddenly your sister would be missing.

[January 5: I apologize for the contrast between the above line, and the rest of this page. Please read what happened]

Umberto Eco on DOS versus Mac

Umberto Eco writes [the excerpt is from an English translation of Umberto Eco's back-page column, "La bustina di Minerva," in the Italian news weekly Espresso (September 30, 1994)]: This has been quoted from: William H. Calvin's Searching for Intelligence (Ch. 6).

Friday, January 5, 1996

This morning when I put Annabel in the living room, she started to say: `da da', while pointing at her coat. When I gave it to her, she made an attempt to put it on.

A little later, I put her with Li-Xia, and when I said goodbye, she started to cry, disappointed that she could not go with me. She does not like to be at home any more, and obviously likes to be at the day-care. Yesterday afternoon she was smiling when I came to get her.

Anne Barber Dunlap

Last Tuesday, I made some short reference about her missing. Yesterday, I found out that she has been killed. Lets all remember Paul Barber, and his family, who have to deal with this horrible loss. Lets also hope, that this terrible crime will be solved.


I posted a message about my decompile page in some programming, compiling and hacking groups. Before, I did this, I installed a counter.

COM ports, or `Fooling the Remote program of CoSession'

The PC I run at home is dual bootable: DOS and Linux. Because I had found a cheap VT100 terminal, I wanted to try to connect this to the PC, so I could use it as a terminal with Linux. But because the mouse and the modem (yes, I have a slip connection) already used up two COM ports, I needed a third COM port. Normally, if you want more than two COM ports, you have to buy some special IO-card, that can deal with it. But I did not want to invest a lot of money in this experiment. I did find a cheap second hand Multi-IO card (10$), of which I disabled all function accept one COM port that I configured as COM3. Because now I had two IO-cards in my machine, I needed to use an extra interrupt. I took IRQ5, from LPT2, I believe, or something like that. (The special cards, let you use more than one COM port on a single interrupt.) When I had all of this working, I put the modem on COM3 and the terminal on COM2, and spend some time to configure Linux, such that I could use the terminal.

Lately, however, I wanted to use the modem for CoSession under DOS. CoSession is program which allows you to take over (through a modem line) the keyboard, screen and mouse of another PC. When I tried to run the Remote program of CoSession, I had to choose a COM port. But COM port COM3 was assigned to a different interrupt than the one I had, so it did not work. Of course, I did not like the idea of swapping the modem and the terminal, as then I would have to reconfigure Linux. Luckily, I discovered that the Remote program would also allow you to choose a COM4, of which you can freely choose the IRQ and the Base address. I tried the values for my COM3 port and it worked. So, now Remote thinks it is connecting to COM4, but in reality it is using COM3.

Tuesday, January 9, 1996

Yesterday evening, I build a 5-speed CD-ROM drive into my PC at home. First I tried to fit it into the top bay, but it did not fit, so I had to exchange it with my 5 1/4 drive (how should I otherwise read my old floppies). Then I connected the IDE cables in the wrong way, such that the PC did not want to boot any more. Luckily Li-Xia had bought a one meter long IDE cable, otherwise, I would not have been able to do the wiring in PC, which is a desk-top tower model. But finally, everything worked.

Then we tried to install MicroStation, I had difficulties freeing about 30Mbytes from my DOS/Windows partition. I trew out: Coral Draw 4.0, MS Works, and part of AutoCAD R12. Now I am thinking about buying a 1.2G drive. (My Linux partition also gets the cramps once in a while.) But then I have to do my 5 1/5 drive away, or buy another controller card.

It is a nice CD-ROM drive, because about 57 Mbytes of software was installed in a few minutes.


Some IQ tests, which I found after (not during) I read


Thursday, January 18, 1996

I am recovering from an infection in one of my nose cavities. That explains why I have not been writing the diary lately. I am drugged with Doxycycline, which sometimes gives me a funny sweet taste in my mouth (apparently one of the lesser side effects).

This morning, Annabel did not cry at all. After I had put her down, and taken of her coat, she stretched out her arms to one of the woman working there. When I waved my hand, she did not reply. This morning she was already quite happy when we put on her coat, and got her bag. It is obvious she enjoys going there. (But she still complains if she has to take a bath.)

What I know about You

I added the following link in my home page: Many people tried it, before I added the logging to it. Interesting that people choose such a link. It also gave me some idea of how many people visit my home page.

Monday, January 22, 1996

Installing a new hard disk

Last week we bought a new hard disk (1.2 Gbyte, because that's the cheapest per Mbyte), and Friday I decided it was time to install it in
my PC at home. I had just done a major rewiring after installing the CD-ROM drive. Now I had to go in a same kind of adventure adding the new drive. I managed to get everything working again by 2 o'clock in the morning, and learned a lot more about PC hardware.

First birthday of Brian

Today is the first birthday of my little nephew Brian. He is the second son of my youngest sister José. And because he is a hundred days younger than Annabel, Annabel is one year and a hundred days old.

Live From New York

Empire Live! (A JPG image taken from here)

Tuesday, January 23, 1996

Sound of a stapler

We have some special stapler, which we use to makes books out of A4 sheets that have been printed with the following command:
/Utils/psutils/bin/psbook !*|/Utils/psutils/bin/psnup -pa4 -2 -q |lpr
This afternoon, I was playing with the stapler, and noticed that is made an interesting sound, when pressed and released. The sound seems dies out, but when is just before is dies out completely it gains volume again, with a slightly different vibration.

Friday, January 26, 1996

Lots of snow today

The past days have been cold, with a rather strong wind from the east, that means a high chill-factor. No fun to drive on your bike. At the end of the morning we started to get some snow flurries, but it became stronger and stronger. Now it looks like there is about 5 cm (2 Inch) of snow outside. Susan left early, because she never biked in the snow before, and she did not want to drive in the dark.

Brave Art

Nancy Delaney shows some pictures of herself before and after the reconstruction of her self after mastectomy. Its is brave to up these pictures on the web, but her self-portrets are also very artistic. (This page was announced by Daily Planet.)

Sunday, January 28, 1996

Drink water from your own cistern,
And fresh water from your own well.
Should you springs be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?
Let them be yours alone,
And not for the strangers with you.
Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love.
For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress,
And embrace the bossom of a foreigner?

Monday, January 29, 1996

There is some gene bank that says they can keep your gene records for a thousand years or more. Do you believe this? Read what they offer, it is funny.

The American Computer Museum (broken link?) is on 234 East Babcock Street, Bozeman, MT 59715. Isn't that the city where Robert Pirsig from `Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance' lived?

I received an email from James Blustein, about a more efficient method for calculating the number of elements (bytes/words) which are required to store a certain number of bits. I am grateful that he mentions me in the change log of his Bit Vectors in C package. Compared with the time he invested in writing this excellent, well-documented package, my suggested improvement does not deserve much credits. It was only that I had written some bit vector procedures before, that I knew of this. I added him to my list of hackers.

Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air.

Bert and Corneliese

Today Bert and Corneliese, close neighbours and friends, are flying to Japan. He is going to work on the biggest super-computer in the world (its main memory is 38 Gbytes) at the National Aerospace Laboratory. She is going with him, because she is his wife.

Wednesday, January 31, 1996

I made a Valentine card for my girl-friend.

Bob Jerkins has an interesting page about Pentagon tilings.

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