Category Archives: Administrative


I’m back in Florida, not for fun. Still trying to get another house ready to sell, so we’ll finally be done with real estate in this wretched state. I hope to see the Falcon launch on Sunday, but from afar (I’ll be down in west Palm Beach County). So probably not a lot of blogging for the next week, but I’ll post a couple of things a day, to keep the conversation going. Just to let you know, you know, that I am at least keeping an eye on comments.

And congrats to SpaceX for another successful launch and getting closer on fairing recovery. I’m sure Mr. Steven is disappointed. Though I’ve heard that ships get upset when you anthropomorphize them.

On The Road Again

Heading to Florida in the morning for the mundane, non-landing Falcon 9 launch on Tuesday (though recent wind forecasts make me suspect it will slip to Wednesday), then down to south Florida to deal with another house we want to sell. Then back up to the Cape on Monday for what I hope is a Tuesday Falcon Heavy launch (which will be historic). From there, to DC on Tuesday night. I’ll be checking in from the road, but be good in comments.

Linux Issue

Patricia’s HP printer, which I used to use to scan, has died (don’t know if it’s a bad power supply, or it’s just bricked). My Brother DCP-L2540DW laser, which is a great printer, refuses to scan. I can see it with Simple Scan, but I get a message that it cannot connect to the scanner. I went to the Brother web site, and installed their own drivers from rpm (actually from a bash script), and still no joy. A Google search indicates that others have had similar issues, but none exactly like mine (for instance, they can’t print, either, whereas the printer works fine). Any suggestions for trouble shooting?

My New Computer

Regular readers are aware of my recent travails (no, I’m not going to search for links). As an experiment this fall, I’ve been using an ASUS tablet and bluetooth keyboard and mouse. I won’t go into all of the frustration and screaming I’ve gone through to make this work, but it just. doesn’t.

I finally broke down and went out shopping at Best Buy near our place in Golden, CO (that’s where we are until the trip back next weekend). They had a fantastic deal on an HP AMD laptop for $229. Two problems with it: its 4G RAM isn’t expandable, and it has a 15″ screen. Why is the latter a problem, you ask? And well you may. It’s a problem because in addition to my old laptop needing replacement, seat pitch has gotten to a state at which you cannot use a laptop that size on a seatback table. I needed a smaller machine.

So I looked some more, and I found a 2-in-1 HP with a much smaller footprint, and a touchscreen. It also has a pen, in theory, but I don’t give a rat’s tuchus about that because the whole reason that I love computers is that I no longer have to drag something across something to communicate my thoughts. God’s gift to me, despite the fact that I don’t believe in Him/Her is the keyboard.

Its memory is also not expandable, but I’ve given up on that; these new machines are so thin that the RAM has to be soldered to the board. For $350 plus tax, it’s good enough. And so far it has been.

Next step is to see if I can install a good OS on it…

Off The Air

I’m driving out to Denver today and tomorrow, then the suborbital researchers conference on Monday through Wednesday. Play nice in comments.

[Monday-morning update]

Arrived in Denver area without incident, other than chickenpoop speeding ticket in northern NM for 82 in a 75 zone. I’ve always assumed that if you’re within 10% you’re OK. Guess this is my decadal ticket.

GIMP (Again)

Is there a doctor in the house? I’m trying to paste a transparent layer in, and all I’m seeing is an outline of it. Anchoring it does nothing. This may be related: It pastes into the canvas in the upper left corner, but that isn’t part of the image I’m trying to put in into, and I don’t know how to get rid of the dead space above. This is the most infuriatingly non-obvious user interface I’ve ever seen.

[Update a couple minutes later]

OK, I got rid of the extra canvas, but I still see nothing when I paste the new layer in.

[Update a while later]

OK, finally figured it out. I had to “Select All” before copying.

Android And SCP

So I’m trying to move some files from my Linux desktop to my tablet. I suppose the easiest way to do it would be via USB, but it would be nice if I could do a file transfer over the wireless network. I set up the Android with a linux shell, and I’m able to ssh into my desktop with it. But when I use the Android app “andFTP,” which everyone seems to praise, to scp files, it won’t authenticate. Anyone have any idea what the issue could be?