Category Archives: Administrative

Site Redesign

You probably noticed a new look here. I just did a WordPress upgrade, and switched to the new standard theme Twenty Fifteen. Not sure I’ll stick with it (for one thing, it’s not clear how to get the column structure I want) but I’ll play with it for a while.

[Update a while later]

Well, it looks like you can have as many columns as you like, as long as it’s not more than two. Only one sidebar. Not sure whether to stick with this.

[Update a few more minutes later]

OK, looks like the only way to get multiple sidebars is to create a child theme with them. Not sure how much time I want to invest in writing PHP.

[Update a few minutes later]

Last time I tried TwentyFourteen, it was kind of a disaster, but I just got the latest version, and am trying that now. I’ll have to tinker with it, but it at least gives me two customizable sidebars. Definitely have to resize sidebars, and play with style sheet. Feedback appreciated.

A High-Pitched Whistle In My Office

It’s driving me crazy. Not a smoke alarm, not the computer. I can’t echo-locate it. Cant really hear it much outside the room, but very distracting within it. Any ideas?

[Update a few minutes later]

Turned out to be the UPS. Off to Frys to replace it.

[Update a while later]

Spent about $60 for 425 VA. It’s charging now, meanwhile, I’m just operating without one. Peace and quiet.

Generally, my need for them isn’t that great. My machine can survive a sudden power loss, and most of the stuff I do backs up automatically periodically. The main reason to have one these days, for me, is to keep my internet alive. The main fiber router in the garage has its own UPS, but I need to keep my wireless routers up if I want to use a laptop with power out.

New Computer Question

She kind of likes the Linux set up, but she really doesn’t want to give up things like (and this is an immediate issue), Turbotax. From what I find in searches, it doesn’t seem to play well with Wine, but it might be OK if I ran it in a virtual Windows machine. But don’t I still need to buy Windows in order to set one of those up? And is there an advantage to running it in a VM, other than not having to reboot into the OS?

Computer Problems

Welp, Windows (7) isn’t happy with the computer upgrade. It keeps running start-up repair, but it never boots.

[Update a while later]

It occurred to me that Windows might not have liked the BIOS settings. So I went into it, and found something under “Advanced” that enabled it for Windows 8 (which I was planning to upgrade to, anyway). When I did that, it told me that the graphics card was incompatible with that setting. So I pulled the card, and am running directly off the mother board. But now when I try to boot, it dumps me into an EFI shell…

[Update a few minutes later]

Well, this doesn’t seem to be an unusual problem

I tried moving the SATA port of the hard drive, but no joy.

[Evening update]

Well, isn’t this wonderful. I now have a computer that wantonly destroys USB drives.

[Update a minute after I typed that]

OK, it didn’t destroy the drive. It just made it take a couple minutes to recognize it. I guess that’s not quite as bad, but it still isn’t bootable.

[Late-evening update]

OK, now seriously, it is wrecking flash drives. That’s the second one today. I copy a bootable ISO to a drive, it doesn’t boot, then no other computer can even see the drive. That’s two. Today.

Computer Upgrade

I just went from a 3.8 MGHz to 4.1 MGHz processor (A10-6800K), and doubled memory, from 8 GB of 1366 to 16 GB of 2133. The difference in performance is amazing. Mostly due to memory, I suspect (the only difference in CPU is the slight percentage increase in speed). Now to go put the old CPU and memory in her machine, which will be an upgrade for her Windows system.

[Update a few minutes later]

I’m sure the fact that the OS is on an SSD doesn’t hurt, either.

[Update late afternoon]

Oh, goody. In order to give her computer the new CPU/memory, I have to change the motherboard out, too, but the HP Pavilion case doesn’t seem to have cables marked. Sigh.

Heading Home

In an hour or so, I’m heading up the coast for the day to see Caesarea, then this evening, back south to Ben Gurion to go through the supposed lengthy flight check in, then a 13-hour flight to Philly, then a layover, then a five-hour flight back to California. Not looking forward to any of it, other than the initial sightseeing.

Anyway, probably off line until at least early Saturday morning, eastern time. I may use wifi on the flight to LA, if I’m sufficiently conscious.

[Saturday-morning update]

Well, I seem to be sufficiently conscious (despite not really having gotten anything resembling sleep for over 36 hours). From the plane over eastern Tennessee, heading west.


Off To Israel

I’m flying there tomorrow on business, back next Saturday. I’m thinking about renting a car. The rates seem pretty good (though I don’t know what the surcharges will be), and I can get supplemental insurance for $40 for the week. Anyone have any experience?

[Evening update]

OK, gotten a lot of useful feedback. Sounds like it would be manageable for me if it’s really no worse than south Florida with all the Haitians, but my new info is that they have a pretty good train system. If I were on vacation and wanting to explore, and into a terrifyingly entertaining experience, I’d definitely rent the car, but I’m there on business, and not moving around much. It looks to me like the best bet is to take a train from Ben-Gurion to Hertzlia, then a short cab to my hotel, and get around locally with cabs (and colleagues with whom I’m there on business). On Friday, my main day off, I could take train to airport to drop bag, then another to Jerusalem for sightseeing, then back to airport for flight home.